BENGALURU: Did Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah do his research properly before hinting that he could contest from Kolar? Giving the breakup of the voter demographic of the constituency, his supporters said Siddaramaiah’s support would come from 28,000-30,000 Vokkaligas, 26,000 Kurubas, 45,000 Muslims and SCs, 10,000 STs and 11,000 other smaller OBCs.
While Congress MLAs, like Ramesh Kumar from Srinivaspur, Narayanswamy from Bangarpet and KY Nanjegowda from Malur, are working hard to get Siddaramaiah to contest from here, experts said MLAs who are facing anti-incumbency would gain from this, but the senior leader himself could lose if he is not careful.
His supporters said Marasu Vokkligas, who are in huge numbers in Kolar, don’t support JDS like Gangadikara Vokkaligas do. Sharat Bache Gowda, Krishna Byre Gowda and Srinivas Gowda can deliver Kolar Vokkaliga votes to Siddaramaiah on a platter. But it is easier said than done, say locals. Though his supporters said MLCs Nazir Ahmed and Govindaraj will help Siddaramaiah, locals pointed out that their influence is limited.
While some observers said that Siddaramaiah might be choosing an easier option by moving out of the Gangadikar Vokkaliga heartland, others said Kolar could still be an unsafe gamble. If he has to succeed, he should win over KH Muniyappa. But why neither Muniyappa nor his daughter MLA Roopkala Shashidhar turned up for the mega Siddaramaiah event on Sunday, they asked.
His supporters said around 10,000 Christians would support Siddaramaiah, but others said around 10,000 Brahmins and Lingayats would not. The constituency also has 10,000 Balijas, who may not support him.