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Why Did Siddaramaiah Choose To Contest From Kolar?

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Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah surely turned quite a few heads when he announced that he would contest the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election from Kolar constituency. He made the announcement during his visit to Kolar on Monday, January 9, surrounded by party leaders and workers. “I have decided to file my candidature from Kolar for the next Assembly elections. This is subject to approval by the high command,” Siddaramaiah said. He is currently a legislator from Badami in Bagalkot district. 


As Siddaramaiah hunts for a safe seat, will 'dark horse' Kharge overtake him? - India Today

Source- Outlook India


“The party high command has assured to consent to my candidature from any constituency,” Siddaramaiah said, adding that he would abide by the directions of the Congress leadership.  There were speculations that the political leader will not contest from Badami again. Siddaramaiah has cited the distance between Badami and Bengaluru making frequent travel challenging as the primary reason for not wanting to go back to the constituency.

Siddaramaiah’s staunch followers do not want him to contest from a seat where either the BJP or JD(S) will tie him down in a tough contest. The party is counting on him to helm the statewide election campaign and help the party cross the half-way mark in the 224-seat Karnataka assembly. The constituency is currently held by a JD(S) MLA Srinivas Gowda, who has not formally resigned from his party but has been openly expressing support to the Congress. An understanding has reportedly been struck that Gowda will vacate his seat for Siddaramaiah in the upcoming elections.

JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy said the choice of Kolar reeked of caste equations as he was looking to contest a seat where Kurubas, the community Siddaramaiah represents is a majority. “He did the same at Varuna and Badami,” Kumaraswamy said. The bid to contest from Kolar is being seen as his attempt to select a ‘safe’ seat that would ensure his election in 2023 according to a report of the Indian Express.

The constituency also has roughly around 21,000 voters from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe community and over 45,000 Muslim voters in addition to around 9,000 Christian voters. A large chunk of the Vokkaliga and Lingayat voters too could swing in favor of the Congress because of the internal caste politics, say Siddaramaiah’s supporters. Additionally, the neighbouring constituencies like Bangarpet, Malur and Srinivasapura have Congress legislators and the party and booth-level workers from there will bolster Siddaramaiah’s campaign in Kolar. 

The southern state is due for assembly polls in five months, and a tough contest is likely to break out between the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress, going by the fierce war of words between the two parties. A leader from the backward class Kuruba community himself, Siddaramaiah is widely seen as a strong contender for the CM’s post in the event of a Congress victory in the assembly election.

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