BENGALURU: The JD(S) is upping the ante for the forthcoming elections by commencing its election campaign in Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s backyard — Chamundeshwari constituency.
At a press meet on Wednesday, JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy announced that they would begin campaigning on November 3 by offering prayers and seeking blessings of Goddess Chamundeshwari atop the hill in Mysuru and then start the campaign in Chamundeshwari constituency along with G T Deve Gowda who is the sitting MLA.
The move is a cheeky nudge to Siddaramaiah who is the sitting MLA from the neighbouring Varuna constituency which itself was carved out of parts of Chamundeshwari constituency.
Incidentally, Siddaramaiah, who is a five-time winner from Chamundeshwari, had announced that he would contest from Chamundeshwari this time, while leaving Varuna to his son Yathindra to contest.
“Whether Siddaramaiah will contest from Chamundeshwari remains to be seen, but we are not letting go of that seat very easily. It does not matter how much money they (Congress) spend there, we are the ones who will win,” Kumaraswamy said.
He also said that the constituency was very close to JD(S) as it was this place that aided the political aspirations of JD(S) after Ramanagara. “Siddaramaiah may or may not contest from there, but even if he does, we are not worried. There is a big difference between 2006 and 2017 and we are ready to face it. That is why we are beginning our campaign from that place,” he said. Kumaraswamy’s reference to 2006 was to Siddaramaiah’s win on a Congress ticket from Chamundeshwari during bypoll elections by a margin of a mere 257 votes.
While it is not clear whether Kumaraswamy will continue on to north Karnataka for campaigning immediately after November 3, he said that he would be accompanied by Devarahipparagi MLA A S Patil Nadahalli, who was recently expelled by Congress for anti-party activities.
“Nadahalli is close friend of mine. He and Basavaraj Horatti will campaign actively in north Karnataka, whether it is Raichur, Bagalkot, Vijayapura or Belagavi. I want to make it clear that he will be contesting in the coming elections as a JD(S) candidate,” he announced.
‘Jubilee fete was mismanaged’
JD(S) legislators were irate over Kumaraswamy being told to move to the back of the group, though as a former CM, he was supposed to be seated in the front during a photo session with President Ram Nath Kovind. “This is not a matter of prestige. I was told that I should move to the back of the group. I am not irate at the official, but at the lack of protocol and mismangement during the event. Why should they have spent `75 lakh on flowers, which was used for a function that got over in 10 minutes?” he questioned. Kumaraswamy refused to be drawn into the controversy over the President leaving out former PM Deve Gowda’s name in his speech saying the speech was prepared by the President’s office.