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Siddaramaiah to Contest From Chamundeshwari: A Calculated Risk or Political Harakiri

The current MLA of Chamundeshwari GT Deve Gowda is a strong leader in Mysore district and former PM H D Deve Gowda is working on a strategy to reduce the winning chances of his one-time “shishya” Siddaramaiah.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:April 10, 2018, 6:12 PM IST
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Siddaramaiah to Contest From Chamundeshwari: A Calculated Risk or Political Harakiri
File photo of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah. (Photo: Facebook)
Bengaluru: On the last day of his five-day tour of hometown Mysore, chief minister Siddaramaiah visited several villages in Chamundeshwari constituency.

He has already declared that he would be returning to his old seat Chamundeshwari by fielding his son Dr Yatheendra from his seat Varuna. But the voters’ response to Siddaramaiah was muted at many villages in Chamundeshwari. Some even took him to task for not doing enough for their villages.

When Siddaramaiah told them that it was the fault of current JDS MLA G T Deve Gowda, they shut his mouth by saying that being chief minister he could have released funds for the development work.

According to some local Congress leaders, the public response is poor and Siddaramaiah may have taken a huge risk by shifting to Chamundeshwari from a safe seat Varuna just to ensure that his son gets an easy entry to the state Assembly.

Siddaramaiah won five times from Chamundeshwari between 1983 and 2008. First time as an independent. Second time on Janata Party, third time on Janata Dal, fourth time on JDS and the last time on Congress ticket. After the delimitation of constituencies, he moved to newly created Varuna for strategic reasons and has won twice from there on Congress ticket.

The current MLA of Chamundeshwari GT Deve Gowda is a strong leader in Mysore district and former PM H D Deve Gowda is working on a strategy to reduce the winning chances of his one-time “shishya” Siddaramaiah.

Speaking to News18, Gowda said: “Siddaramaiah is a megalomaniac. He is arrogant. He is abusing my party. The voters of Chamundeshwari will not like that. He will be defeated this time."

The BJP is not considered a strong party in this seat and it is still searching for a suitable candidate who can take on Siddaramaiah. The chief minister’s followers allege that BJP has a secret deal with the JDS to defeat Siddaramaiah. The chief minister is also not mincing words about it. Speaking to media in Mysore he said that JDS had joined hands with the BJP to defeat him in Chamundeshwari.

The semi-urban seat has 72,000 Vokkaligas and 30,000 Lingayat votes. The Backward Classes, Muslims, SC/STs together have over a lakh votes. Siddaramaiah is confident of getting votes from all castes and religions. He told News18 that BJP’s caste politics will not work here as the voters see him as their chief minister, not as a Kuruba or OBC.

His local campaign managers explain that getting a thin crowd at some villages is a minor thing and overall he has got a great response.

Veteran Congress leader H Vishwanath, who crossed over to the JDS after his relationship with Siddaramaiah soured, maintains that it is not going to be easy for the chief minister this time. Speaking to News18, he said, “The hubris will finish him. He thinks too much of himself."

Another veteran Dalit leader V Srinivasa Prasad, who joined BJP after a public spat with Siddaramaiah, has vowed to defeat him this time. Speaking to News18, he said, “Siddaramaiah has insulted all Dalits by humiliating me. We will teach him a lesson this time.”

However, a Vokkaliga leader from Chamundeshwari Mavinahalli Siddegowda believes that voters elect a tall leader like Siddaramaiah and not someone like G T Deve Gowda just because he is a fellow Vokkaliga.

Siddaramaiah is also playing a sentimental card by telling the voters that it is his last election and the people must back him one last time.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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