BENGALURU : With the elections to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly just a year away, bigwigs of the Congress have seemingly turned ultra-conscious about their selection of seats, which they hope to win, as they vie for the CM’s post should the party return to power in 2023. “The party coming to power is 120 per cent certain,” claimed Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah.
Hence, the leaders have been trying to play safe and even have been eyeing ‘safe’ constituencies where they can nurture their dream for the CM’s post before 2023. Siddaramaiah, who had contested from two seats in 2018, had lost from Chamundeshwari, but won from Badami by a margin of just 1,696 votes. If not for Satish Jarkiholi’s aggressive campaigning, it would have become tough for the former CM to win the seat against the strong Nayaka community leader from the BJP, B Sriramulu. Now, Satish, as KPCC working president, has also been running for the CM’s post in 2023, and he may concentrate mainly on his Yemakanmardi Assembly seat.
Moreover, veteran leader and five-time MLA B B Chimmanakatti, who had sacrificed his seat to Siddaramaiah in 2018, had turned vocal against the latter at a public meeting in Badami recently, advising him to go back to Mysuru district.
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah has plans to switch to the Hunsur seat which represents members of his Kuruba community, STs and also minorities in sizable numbers. And if G T Deve Gowda joins the Congress, it may help Siddaramaiah further get Vokkaliga votes on which Gowda has command.
“Hunsur was represented by D Devaraj Urs, who became Chief Minister of Karnataka for two terms, and this emotional cord may also work in Siddaramaiah’s favour,” remarked a leader. Meanwhile, KPCC president D K Shivakumar has managed to keep his Kanakapura Assembly constituency intact, since the Mekedatu padayatra helped him to a large extent.
M B Patil, who is also claimed to be a strong potential CM face from North Karnataka, has no qualms with the Babaleshwar seat, where he enjoys a strong following. However, former deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara is likely to face some difficulty, although he has managed to be in close contact with his electorate in Koratagere, owing to a complex caste matrix wherein his SC Right community’s votes are not as big as the Left community’s votes.
Also, the AHINDA leaders at the state-level may intervene and get their respective communities to defeat him, should he plan to run for CM. Accordingly, Parameshwara on Saturday asked supporters at his Koratagere Assembly constituency not to brand him as a ‘CM face’.