Not yet decided on where to contest in 2023 assembly polls: Ex-Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

·3-min read

Bengaluru, May 26 (PTI) Making it clear that he will be contesting the 2023 assembly elections, Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said no decision has been taken yet on the constituency, amid speculation that he may opt for Chamarajpet in the city.

There has been speculation within the party circles for some time now that the leader of opposition, who represents Badami in north Karnataka, may come back to his home turf of the old Mysuru region or somewhere in Bengaluru for the next election.

His loyalist and Chamarajpet legislator B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan has even offered to vacate the constituency for the Congress Legislature Party leader.

'Still there is about two years for the election, I'm now MLA of Badami constituency....I have never said I will contest from Chamarajpet.. have I said I will contest (from Chamarajpet ),' Siddaramaiah asked in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters here, he said Zameer Ahmed Khan has been asking him to contest from his constituency out of goodwill.

'I have not decided yet...I will go to the constituencies of MLAs, whoever invites me. I have been to Hebbal, Pulakeshinagar and Basavanagudi constituencies too, also Kolar,' he said, when a reporter pointed out this was his fourth visit to the Chamarajpet constituency in recent times.

Even as Siddaramaiah was answering the question whether he will contest from Chamarajpet, Khan intervened and said, 'It is my desire that he should contest.' The Chamarajpet segment has a sizable minority population.

Siddaramaiah has already announced that he will not contest again from Chamundeshwari assembly constituency in Mysuru, where he had tasted defeat during the May 2018 assembly polls.

Siddaramaiah, the then sitting Chief Minister, had lost in Chamundeshwari to JD(S) G T Deve Gowda by a margin of over 36,042 votes. He, however, won Badami, the other constituency from where he had contested.

Making his debut in the Assembly in 1983, Siddaramaiah had got elected from Chamundeshwari on a Lok Dal Party ticket.

He has won five times from this constituency and tasted defeat thrice.

After neighbouring Varuna became a constituency in 2008 following delimitation, Siddaramaiah represented it till he vacated the seat for his son Dr Yatindra in the 2018 assembly polls last year and went back to his old constituency of Chamundeshwari.

Ahead of the May 2018 assembly polls, Siddaramaiah had said it would 'most likely' be his last election.

Earlier, during the 2013 assembly polls too, he had said that it was his last election and went on to become chief minister after the polls.

It is no secret that Siddaramaiah is nursing his ambition to become chief minister for a second term if the party wins the next assembly polls in 2023, and his loyalists like Khan have already started to openly pitch for him as the next CM candidate.

This could come in the way of State Congress president D K Shivakumar's ambitions, as he too is said to be eyeing to become the Chief Minister, with some of his loyalists too already batting in favour of him for the coveted post.PTI KSU BN BALA BN BALA

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