Karnataka Congress Legislature Party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah announced his candidature from Kolar today (9 January).
At an event addressing party workers, Siddaramaiah said, he has decided to contest from Kolar in the upcoming elections. But this is subject to 'the approval by the high command', he reiterated.
Reiterating that he has no 'special privilege or immunity', he said he has to follow protocol and hence the central leadership would have the final word.
Speculations have been rife over his candidature from different constituencies with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mocking him for having no 'constituency to contest from'.
There were also rumours about disagreements among the party's local leaders that were said to be an impediment to his candidature.
Having lost from Chamundeshwari last time around, after he gave up his constituency Varuna for his son Yathindra, the search for a 'safe seat' was said to be on for the last few months. In October though, leaders from various scheduled caste (SC) communities in Kolar were said to have met Siddaramaiah and 'invited' him to contest.
The seat currently rests with the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS), whose MLA Srinivasa Gowda was expelled by the party in June last year, for allegedly "cross-voting during the Rajya Sabha polls". He had then said he would join the Congress in the run-up to the assembly elections.
Three days after he was expelled, he had vouched for the Congress and said he wished to see Siddaramaiah as the Chief Minister and would work to ensure he does, wherever he choses to contest from.
JD(S) in its first list announced in mid-December picked CMR Shrinath for Kolar. Kumaraswamy started his Pancharatna Ratha yatre this campaign season, from Kolar and stressed that irrespective of who contests, he would ensure his candidate wins.
The BJP has upped its ante ever since speculations of Siddaramaiah's Kolar contest began in December, when former minister and two time independent MLA Varthur Prakash blew the bugle in with a mega birthday bash in Kolar, as a show of strength.
Prakash had joined the BJP in May 2022. He too, like Siddaramaiah, belongs to the Kuruba community. He had contested as an independent and twice (2008,2013) defeated Srinivasa Gowda, a Vokkaliga, despite the latter community having greater votes than the former.
As reported, of the total 224,455 votes in Kolar, Kurubas are at 28,000 votes while Vokkaligas are said to be at 40,000. Muslims votes are said to be 51,000 and that of Dalits around 49,000.
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