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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 | Siddaramaiah to contest from Badami as 2nd seat: Sources

The CM will submit his papers on April 24, the last day for filing nominations

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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 | Siddaramaiah to contest from Badami as 2nd seat: Sources
A file photo of CM Siddaramaiah after he filed his nomination in Mysuru
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Putting to rest speculations about Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah contesting from Badami, a senior party member confirmed that he will in fact file his papers on April 24, the last day of filing of nominations in the state's Assembly elections, to contest from the constituency. Siddaramaiah will hold a public rally while on his way to file his nominations, the party leader confirmed.

After the CM filed his nomination papers from Chamundeshwari, a constituency where he has contested seven times since 1983, before he moved to Varuna in 2008, speculations about him filing nominations from Badami as a second seat were rekindled. This year, the party has fielded Siddaramaiah's son Yathindra from the Varuna constituency.

The chief minister said that he was waiting to discuss the matter with the party high command, including party president Rahul Gandhi. Yet, the decision to contest from the seat lies with him alone, as Rahul had given him a free hand in the decisions regarding the Assembly elections.

Over the last two Assembly terms, the Chamundeshwari constituency, which has a strong presence of the Lingayats as well as Vokkaliga community, has emerged as a JD (S) stronghold, whose leader Deve Gowda is from the Vokkaliga community. Intelligence reports, too, have not shown a favourable outcome for the chief minister from Chamundeshwari.

The BJP and the JD (S) have been vocal about their criticism of Siddaramaiah contesting from two seats, going so far as to calling him a "coward".

Yet, party leaders feel that the chief minister, a Kuruba Gowda from Mysore in South Karnataka contesting from Badami, a North Karnataka seat could send out a strong message to voters and invigorate the party rank and file.

More importantly, the move could consolidate the Kuruba Muslim and the SC vote bank in the North Karnataka belt. "The consolidation can have a favourable outcome in as far as 18 to 20 seats for the party," the leader said.
In addition, it could further consolidate the AHINDA vote bank, the leader said, which is already swaying towards the Congress.

Cong's augmented reality app

The Congress on Saturday released an Augmented Reality app where people can hear CM Siddaramaiah while he delivers his campaign speech. Touting it as the first AR app for political campaigns in India, Congress in-charge for Karnataka KC Venugopal said that the state's technological expertise is on display through this app. "This app will ensure that every developmental project that the government has delivered in the last five years reaches the people," the chief minister said.

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