Bengaluru: Historic place Badami is in news for all good reasons. With assembly elections fast approaching, a straight fight between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State Chief B S Yeddyurappa is on the cards, with BJP’s national chief Amit Shah holding consultation with local party leaders on fielding a strong candidate to floor the CM on the alternate turf Badami.
After Chief Minister Siddaramaih showed inclination to contest from Badami, the constituency has shot into prominence. With some surveys predicting “obstacle ridden passage” for the CM in Chamundeshwari, chances of him opting for Badami are high. With considerable number of voters from Kuruba community, CM is not averse to test his electoral fortunes from Badami.
To nip his chances in the bud, opposition BJP is exploring various options and are zeroing in on the possibility of fielding state party chief B S Yeddyurappa to consolidate the Lingayat community votes there. Former Member of Parliament (MP) and business tycoon Vijay Sankeshwar, Bagalkot MP P C Gaddigoudar and MP Sriramulu are the other names doing rounds for the Badami seat in party circles.
To keep options open, the party has not named the candidates for 11 seats including Badami. BJP’s promise on fielding BSY, the only MP from the state being the chief ministerial face, has gone haywire owing to political compulsions. MP Sriramulu has already submitted his nomination to contest from Molakalmuru, despite heavy opposition from local party men. There are rumours about MPs Shobha Karandhlaje, Ananth Kumar Hegde and Karadi Sanganna inclined to throw hats in the election ring this time. Interestingly, party has not named B Y Vijayendra as Varuna candidate despite proposing his name to fight CM’s son Dr. Yatindra.
Reacting to media reports, Vijay Sankeshwara showed ignorance of the news making rounds and said he is not an applicant for the party ticket. When quizzed further, whether he will take a plunge in case BJP decides to field him, Sankeshwar said, “This is not the right time to answer that query.”
Party has asked senior leaders Ananth Kumar and Prahlad Joshi to convince Sankeshwar, before taking a final call.
Meanwhile, incumbent MLA Chimmankatti is unhappy over party declining him the ticket and choosing Devaraj Patil as official nominee but showed willingness to toe the line, if party decided to field CM from Badami.
When CM was asked about contesting from tow constituencies, he shot back, “Isn’t JDS state chief H D Kumaraswamy contesting from 2 seats?”