One eye on north, CM Siddaramaiah tests waters with Badami voters

Mysuru: If his intention was to keep people guessing by his flip-flop on the question of Badami, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah seems to be doing a good job. But on Thursday he gave every indication that he may contest from the constituency in addition to Chamundeshwari, responding to people from Badami, who pleaded with him to contest from it while on his campaign in Varuna with a thumbs up or “Will you vote if I do? Then I will myself contest.”

While the Chief Minister insisted in the morning that the decision on the candidate for Badami was left to the high command, he was singing a different tune by the afternoon when people from Badami stopped his car by the roadside during his campaign in Varuna and pleaded with him to contest from the constituency.

Besides giving the thumbs up and a positive response to them, he came out with his most assertive yet declaration when supporters of  Mr Devraj Patil, whose candidature from the constituency has been put on hold, stopped his vehicle to say, “We welcome you to Badami, you must come to it. But if you don’t , please give the B form to Devraj Patil.”  The Chief Minister responded with, “Naane bartheeni (I will myself come), you leave.”

Earlier in the day, he did not seem as positive about Badami. After a meeting with AICC general secretary , Venugopal, KPCC chief, Dr G Parameshwar, and others at a private hotel in Mysuru late Wednesday night, he told reporters Thursday morning he was not clear about the constituency still.  “I don’t know what direction they will take on a candidate for Badami. Let us see,” was all he said. Asked when there would be clarity on the candidate for Badami, he said a decision would be taken by April  23 or 24.

On his state-wide tour, he said he would embark on it after the process of filing nominations ended on April 24.. While campaigning in Varuna, the Chief Minister was presented a garland made of apples weighing 350 kgs carried by a crane in Madegowdana hundi, by the village head.

Calling the BJP fake, he warned the people its candidate would disappear after the elections, and urged them to vote for Dr S Yatindra as they had voted for him.

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