Siddaramaiah aims at repeat of 2004 show

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Varuna, Karnataka, May 8 (UNI) Former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah will lock horns with former Director General of Police Revannasiddaiah (BJP) in Varuna Assembly constituency, going to polls in the first phase on May ten, aiming for a repeat of his successful show against the IPS officer in the 2004 polls.

Though ten candidates were in the fray, the fight was mainly between Mr Siddaramaiah and Mr Revannasiddaiah as JD(S) candidate Krishnaswamy was entering the fray for the first time. Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti, BSP and five independents were also in the fray.

Mr Siddaramaiah was testing his popularity in this agriculture-dominated constituency, after having won five times from Chamundeswari since 1983. Varuna was carved out after the recent delimitation exercise.

After carefully considering Chamudeswari and Varuna, Mr Siddaramaiah preferred Varuna to try his luck against Mr Revannasiddaiah, who after Congress denied him a ticket joined the BJP.

Mr Siddaramaiah said that though he was more attached to Chamundeswari constituency, which gave him political life, circumstances forced him to shift to Varuna. The former finance minister, who had presented the Karnataka budget for seven years, had provided maximum funds for completion of the long-pending Varuna canal, which enabled irrigation of about 80,000 acres of land.

Mr Revanasiddaiah had unsuccessfully contested the 2004 elections on a Congress ticket against Mr Siddaramaiah, who had then contested on a JD(S) ticket. He was trying to cash in on the sympathy votes for the BJP, which was betrayed by its alliance partner JD(S) by not handing over power as part of their power-sharing agreement. It would, however, be an uphill task for him to overcome the popularity of Mr Siddaramaiah.

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