The guess work continues and it is hard to say at the moment who exactly wants Siddaramaiah to contest from two seats. On one hand, there are reports that say that it is the high command which does not want Siddaramaiah to contest from Chamundeshwari. On the other Siddaramaiah says that it is his followers who are forcing him to contest from Badami.
The Congress on Sunday released its first list of candidates. The list said that Siddaramaiah would file his nomination from Chamundeshwari.
While it was expected that the speculation regarding his two-seat contest was laid to rest, the issue is back in the reckoning again. In the first list, the Congress had indicated that Devaraj Patil would contest from Badami. Confusion has erupted now with the name of Patil being put on hold. The high command has sought to know the reason behind this.
Siddaramaiah while interacting with media persons said that he was under a lot of pressure to contest from a seat in North Karnataka. He, however, added that he had told the Congress high command that he was ready only for a one-seat contest.
Leaders from Bagalkot district under which Badami falls had met with Siddaramaiah and urged him to contest from this constituency. When he was asked if he would consider contesting from Badami, he threw up an open-ended answer by saying, " you construe this however you want."
The fact of the matter is that Chamundeshwari is not looking good for the Chief Minister. The Congress is expected to conduct a snap survey to understand the ground realities in Chamundeshwari and then take a call on a second seat for the CM. The Congress would, however, have to rush and decide on this issue soon as the last date to file the nominations is on April 24.
Congress sources say that this is a crucial decision that needs to be taken. If Siddaramaiah pulls out of Chamundeshwari now, it would be a moral defeat. A two-seat contest also gives the indication that the leader is shaky. However, if Siddaramaiah decides to contest only from Chamundeshwari and ends up losing then he would be out of contention for the CM's chair in case the Congress returns to power.
Meanwhile, there is also speculation that CM is eyeing the Shanthinagar seat which is currently represented by N Haris whose son was involved in a brutal bar brawl. The candidate for this constituency has not been announced as yet and discussions to this effect are still on.