The Congress high command on Thursday shot down the proposal of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Pradesh Congress president G Parameshwara to contest from two seats in the May 12 Assembly elections.
With growing clamour among many leaders to contest from two segments, the party has decided to reject all proposals and will give an opportunity to other leaders to contest the elections, top sources in the Congress leaderhsip told Deccan Herald.
“It is up to Siddaramaiah to choose between Chamundeshwari in Mysuru district or Badami in Bagalkot district from where he wanted to contest.
Though the chief minister earlier showed an inclination towards Chamundeshwari, the party asked him to finalise his choice by Friday morning before the scheduled Central Election Committee meeting.
Apprehending that the chief minister may face a strong fight at Chamundeshwari, where a sizable number of voters belong to the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, the party top brass advised him to opt for a safe seat like Badami in Bagalkot district as the constituency has a large number of Kuruba community voters, the caste to which Siddaramaiah belongs.
However, apart from Badami, Siddaramaiah planned to contest from Chamundeshwari too as it is close to Varuna segment from where his doctor son Yathindra is trying for a ticket. The chief minister believes that contesting from Chamundeshwari would also help his son, a political greenhorn, to win the elections.
However, Parameshwara agreed to contest only from Koratagere from where he lost in the 2013 Assembly elections and decided to drop his plan to file his nomination from Pulakeshinagar, in Bengaluru. The party will decide whether to field JD(S) rebel and sitting MLA Akhanda Srinivasmurthy or former Congress MLA Prasanna Kumar from Pulakeshinagar, sources said.
“If we allow Siddaramaiah to contest from two seats, we will have to oblige Parameshwara too. If we allow both these leaders, others will also start making similar demands. Besides, allowing top leaders to contest from two seats will give ammunition to political opponents to attack the ruling party saying that their leaders are on the backfoot in the elections,” sources added.
The chief minister, who arrived from Bengaluru at Delhi in the evening, held a meeting with the party screening committee headed by Madhusudhan Mistry. The party’s leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge was also present at the meeting.