Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa on Sunday said he was ready to contest against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from Badami, if the party's national president Amit Shah asked him to do so.
"Our party's national president will decide whether I should contest or someone else. If I'm asked to contest, I'm ready. If he asks someone else to contest, they will contest," Yeddyurappa told reporters in Chikkamagaluru.
The former Chief Minister further said, "But it is certain that we will field a good candidate in Badami and defeat Siddaramaiah. BJP has already taken a decision in this regard."
Badami in Bagalkote will be the second constituency from where Siddaramaiah will be contesting the May 12 Karnataka assembly polls, the other being Chamundeshwari in Mysuru.
Ending suspense over contesting from a second constituency, the Chief Minister would file his nomination papers from Badami on April 24.
Meanwhile, amidst speculation that he would be fielded against Siddaramaiah from Badami, BJP MP B Sriramulu today said he would abide by the party's decision.
"... the party will decide about my contesting from Badami. We are disciplined soldiers of BJP... if the party asks me to contest from anywhere I will contest," he told reporters.
Sriramulu has been fielded by the BJP from Molakalmuru constituency in Chitradurga district, and he has already filed his nomination from there.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Siddaramaiah, who has already filed his nominations from Chamundeshwari constituency, has maintained that he was under pressure from local party leaders in Bagalkote and Vijayapura districts to contest from Badami as it would benefit Congress' prospects in the region.
To a question that Sriramulu was likely to be fielded by the BJP against him from Badami, he said "let them field anyone. I'm not worried about who the opponent is." "Elections are fought on ideologies not between persons. We are fighting against communalism, we are fighting communal forces and we want to defeat communal forces," he added.
The Chief Minister also said that the people of Chamundeshwari have already decided to vote in his favour.
The Congress in its list of candidates for 218 seats announced on April 15, had named Dr Devraj Patil as its nominee from Badami, but issuing of B-form (required to be filed by a political party mentioning name of its approved candidate) to Patil has been put on hold.to him was put on hold.
Today in the second list released by the party, Siddaramaiah's name was announced replacing Patil.
Badami with strong Kuruba presence, the community to which Siddaramaiah belongs, is seen as a safer option for the Chief Minister as reports have suggested that the battle in Chamundeshwari will not be an easy one for him.
Siddaramaiah has won five times and tasted defeat twice at Chamundeshwari.
He has been representing Varuna constituency in Mysuru since 2008, which has now been allotted to his son Dr Yatindra.