TUMAKURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who reportedly chose Badami as his second seat to ensure victory considering caste equations, has also managed to find 'safe zones' for his aides and loved ones. When it comes to caste equations, Chamundeshwari might be tough for the CM but he had paved the way for his son Dr Yatheendra to contest from Varuna as it's found to be safe. The move had drawn the attention of the state.
But the CM had done it for his near ones as he picked up safer seats for them across the state. It's evident from the fact that he had picked Belagavi South for KPCC OBC wing president and former Turuvekre MLA M D Lakshminarayana. In 1999, Lakshminarayana, who hails from weavers community, had won comfortably from Turuvekere on BJP ticket and had struggled of late due to the caste conundrum. He lost two consecutive polls later.
The State Weavers Association president later joined the Congress party and reposed faith on Siddaramaiah and the latter has now fielded him from Belagavi South which has a sizable, over 40,000, weaver population.
In a similar experiment in 2013, the CM had helped Minister Umashri, also from weavers community, win Terdal in Bagalakote district as weavers-Kuruba combination had worked out in her favour.
The CM, who had tasted such victories in 2013, has been going ahead with similar experiments in many seats, sources said.
Even in Badami, the weavers community constitute about 15,000 votes and it may help the CM besides Kuruba and Muslim votes which too are in considerable in size.
When contacted, M D Lakshminarayan admitted that the CM had sent him to Belagavi South a year ago to nurture the constituency.
"The CM feels that my contest in Belagavi South would help Congress candidates in Bagalkote and Vijayapura which have a sizable number of weavers population," he remarked. In fact, he had organised the community across the state, a source said.
But the CM who had helped other community leaders get nominated from safer seats based on caste equation could not do it for some of the upcoming Kuruba leaders.
Bengaluru-based doctor Dr Manjula B, who had nurtured Sindgi seat for a year, like M D Lakshminarayana, was denied party ticket. She is the niece of Transport Minister H M Revanna.
But the CM who was keen on giving her the ticket finally paid heed to Water Resources Minister M B Patil as the latter managed to get his man Mallanna Ninganna Sali in the last minute.
MLC V S Ugrappa, when contacted, said the caste equation might be one of the factors in issuing party tickets. "It will favour the CM who is contesting from Badami seat and it will have a cascading effect on constituencies adjacent to it," he hoped.
Noted psephologist Dr Sandeep Shastri observed that all three major parties have announced candidates based on caste equations and it's unfair to corner a leader or any party. "At the end of the day, it's the caste factor which may work in favour of parties," he remarked.