BENGALURU: Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah is not the only one in search of a safe seat for the 2023 elections; former deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara is having misgivings about Koratagere, from where he had lost miserably in 2013.
While Siddaramaiah could settle for Varuna, which his son Dr Yathindra is ready to sacrifice, Parameshwara may have to quickly look for an alternative. The overwhelming response to former chief minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy’s two-day Pancharatna yatra in Koratagere, is giving Parameshwara the jitters. People from varied demographies -- children to women to senior citizens -- showered affection on Kumaraswamy, offering garlands of copra, groundnuts, millets and ragi, and even blessed him with the chief minister’s post. In Tovinakere hobli, people waited for him till 2am Sunday.
“Kumaraswamy is getting a good response which is natural, but we are closely watching the constituency to see how things pan out with regard to the caste matrix. He will woo the Vokkaliga community, and if BJP is able to garner the Lingayat vote by fielding SC Left community leader B H Anil Kumar, retired IAS officer, it will queer the pitch for Parameshwara,” said a Vokkaliga leader who is a close aide of Parameshwara.
Meanwhile, the OBCs, whom former chief minister Siddaramaiah represents, may wait for his message till the last minute, while the ST Nayakas are likely to go with the BJP, said one leader. Except for minorities and a section of SCs, other caste groups are being vocal and uniting against Parameshwara, resulting in the 2013 situation.
The not so familiar P Sudhakar Lal of the JDS had then emerged as a giant-killer by defeating Parameshwara, the foreign-educated Dalit leader. Once again, Kumaraswamy’s campaign has visibly boosted his morale ahead of the assembly polls.
“Parameshwara had claimed that Congress leaders had conspired against him in 2013, though he was the KPCC president and in the race for the CM’s post. For me, Parameshwara’s political future is immaterial as my party has to win more seats, and I am confident that Sudhakar Lal will win,” Kumaraswamy stated in Koratagere on Friday.