CHIEF Minister Siddaramaiah, who has announced that he would contest the assembly polls from Chamundeshwari in his home region of Mysuru, may also contest from a second seat — Badami in north Karnataka.
Several senior party leaders from Badami in the backward Bagalkot district, which has nearly 40 per cent population from Siddaramaiah’s own backward caste Kuruba, met him on Thursday and urged him to contest from the seat.
“By contesting from Badami, the chief minister will boost the prospects of the party in a big way in the entire northern region of Karnataka,” Bagalkot district in-charge minister S R Patil said at the meeting with Siddaramaiah. Sitting Congress MLA from Badami, B B Chimankatti, a Kuruba who has represented the constituency five times, was present at the meeting.
While the prospects of Siddaramaiah contesting from Badami has existed for several months— given the Congress need to assert itself in the state’s northern parts and the ill-health of Chimankatti — the option was believed to be dropped after the chief minister announced last week that he will be filing his nomination for Chamundeshwari.
The possibility of Siddaramaiah contesting the Badami seat re-emerged following the Congress election screening committee meetings in Delhi where the party high command is reported to have asked him to contest from Badami as well.
On Thursday, after the meeting, Siddaramaiah said he would convey views of the local leaders to the party high command. There is now speculation that Siddaramaiah, who is slated to file nomination from Chamundeshwari on April 23, could file his papers from Badami on April 24.