Siddaramaiah faces BJP’s Sreeramulu in Karnataka’s Badami seat

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Bengaluru, April 24 (IANS) Karnataka’s Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday filed his nomination from Badami segment in Bagalkot district against BJP’s tribal leader B. Sreeramulu for the May 12 Assembly elections.

Both Siddaramaiah and Sreeramulu have also filed their nominations from Chamundeshwari in Mysuru and Molakamuru (ST) in Chitradurga district on April 20 and 21 respectively.

Siddaramaiah, 69, is the only candidate of the ruling Congress to contest two seats, in the state’s south and north.

High drama prevailed in the historic town of Badami as Siddaramaiah, sporting a yellow turban, drove to the election office ahead of a huge procession, and witnessed by hundreds of people from across the backward district.

State party leaders S.R. Patil and C.M. Ibrahim were present on the occasion.

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Tuesday was the last date for filing of nominations for the 224 seats. Scrutiny will be on Wednesday and the last date for withdrawals is April 27.

Sreeramulu was the first to file his papers before the district’s Returning Officer, in the presence of BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa, party’s state incharge Prakash Javadekar and party leaders Jagadish Shettar and Muralidhar Rao.

Sreeramulu, 47, is a Lok Sabha member from Ballari (Reserved-Scheduled Tribe) in the state’s northwest.

Siddaramaiah is betting high on the support of his Kuruba (shepard) community with about 46,000 voters in the Assembly segment. Sreeramulu is counting on about 36,000 Valmiki (hunters) voters, as well as Lingayats who number about 55,000.

Siddaramaiah told reporters later that he was not bothered about his rivals.

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“I am least bothered about who will contest against me here (Badami) — whether it is Sreeramulu or Yeddyurappa. I have faith in the voters, they will not leave me,” said an unfazed Siddaramaiah.

The BJP, however, claimed that Siddaramaiah was contesting from Badami also as he feared defeat in Chamundeshwari where Janatal Dal-Secular (JD-S) sitting legislator G. T. Deve Gowda is again in the fray.

–IANS

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