Will contest 2023 assembly polls from Badami: Siddaramaiah
Bengaluru, June 12: Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday indicated that he may contest the 2023 assembly elections from Badami, which he currently represents as an MLA, even as a section in the party urged him to enter the poll fray from the city''s Chamarajpet segment.
"Press people question me about my repeated visits to Chamarajpet, I come here as I''m repeatedly invited, that''s all. They ask me whether I will leave Badami and contest from Chamarajpet during the next election," the leader of opposition in the legislature assembly said.
Speaking at an event in Chamarajpet, he said it is Zameer Ahmed Khan''s (Congress MLA) generosity that he is asking me to contest the election from the constituency he represents.
"As of now I will contest the election from Badami itself... it is important that Zameer Ahmed Khan should win (the next election) and should be in the government," Siddarmaiah said, even as Khan and those present at the event demanded that he contest from Chamarajpet.
As people present at the event on Khan''s insistence shouted that the former Chief Minister should contest from Chamarajpet, Siddaramaiah said, "... lets see later," and heaped praise on the MLA for his service to the constituency and people in need.
Making it clear that he will be contesting the 2023 assembly elections, the Congress legislature party leader had recently said no decision has been taken yet on the constituency.
There has been speculation within the party circles for some time now that Siddaramaiah, who represents Badami in north Karnataka, may come back to his home turf of the old Mysuru region or somewhere in Bengaluru for the next election.
His loyalist and party''s Chamarajpet legislator B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan has even offered to vacate the constituency for him.
The Chamarajpet segment in the city has a sizeable minority population. Siddaramaiah has already announced that he will not contest again from Chamundeshwari assembly constituency in Mysuru, where he had tasted defeat during the May 2018 assembly polls.
Siddaramaiah, the then sitting Chief Minister, had lost in Chamundeshwari to JD(S) G T Deve Gowda by a margin of over 36,042 votes. He, however, won Badami, the other constituency from where he had contested.
Making his debut in the Assembly in 1983, Siddaramaiah had got elected from Chamundeshwari on a Lok Dal Party ticket.
He has won five times from this constituency and tasted defeat thrice. After neighbouring Varuna became a constituency in 2008 following delimitation, Siddaramaiah represented it till he vacated the seat for his son Dr Yatindra in the 2018 assembly polls and went back to his old constituency of Chamundeshwari.
Ahead of the May 2018 assembly polls, Siddaramaiah had said it would "most likely" be his last election.
Earlier, during the 2013 assembly polls too, he had said that it was his last election and went on to become chief minister after the polls.
It is no secret that Siddaramaiah is nursing his ambition to become chief minister for a second term if the party wins the next assembly polls in 2023, and his loyalists like Khan have already started to openly pitch for him as the next CM candidate.
This could come in the way of State Congress president D K Shivakumar''s ambitions, as he too is said to be eyeing to become the Chief Minister, with some of his supporters too already batting in favour of him for the coveted post.