Two seats not one? Siddaramaiah not taking any chances

Bengaluru: Is Chief Minister Siddaramaiah 'planning to do a Narendra Modi' and contest from two Assembly constituencies in the May 12 polls?

Modi had contested and won by huge margins from Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in UP in 2014 ensuring his claim for the PM post was unassailable. Siddaramaiah's case is slightly different – his contesting from a constituency in north Karnataka like Badami or a seat in Koppal, bothdominated by his Kuruba community, besides Chamundeshwari, would send the right signals to the electorate that his popularity is not restricted to old Mysuru and he is a true pan-Karnataka leader. "It will also positively impact voters in nearby constituencies in north Karnataka which is why the Congress top brass is pressurising him," said sources.

As for Chamundeshwari, though the CM sounds supremely confident, doubts are being raised about his victory prospects with the demographics changing in the Vokkaliga dominated constituency in the past few years.

Siddaramaiah himself preferred to be non-committal saying, "I have received invitations to contest from Badami. However, I have not taken a final decision on contesting from two constituencies." He was dismissive of talk of the opposition ganging up against him in Chamundeshwari to defeat him saying, "There is a discussion going on everywhere. Both Kumaraswamy and Yeddyurappa say they want to defeat me in Chamundeshwari. I won the seat in 2006 when they both were together (in a coalition government)."

"It is a tactical move. If the Congress gets a majority and Siddaramaiah loses Chamundeshwari, he can keep his CM hopes alive if he has a second seat like Badami to rely on," sources explained.

Don’t worry about Kempaiah: Siddaramaiah
Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah has reportedly decided not change the post of former police officer Kempaiah, who is the security advisor to the home minister.
Mr Kempaiah’s functioning had attracted the wrath of the JD(S) which raised the issue with the Election Commission of India. Party supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda during his meeting with Chief Election Commissioner, O.P. Rawat, described Mr Kempaiah as ‘Super Home Minister’.

Minutes after Mr Gowda met Mr Rawat on Thursday, Mr Siddaramaiah came to Vidhana Soudha to pay tribute to former Union minister late Babu Jagjivan Ram. When senior officials brought to his notice the fact that Mr Gowda had raised the Kempaiah issue with the CEC who is in the city, Mr Siddaramaiah told the officials, ‘not to worry about Mr Kempaiah’, virtually hinting that he would continue in his position.

Mr Siddaramaiah however, told reporters that ever since the calender of events was announced, he had not met any official other than the chief secretary. He tried to turn the tables on Mr Gowda and said, "Mr Gowda knows how to rig the elections. That’s why he makes such baseless allegations. I have never used any official to engage in irregularities in the elections. We go by the law."

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