‘Won 5 out of 7 times in Chamundeshwari’: Siddaramaiah takes on Kumaraswamy

JD(S) President HD Kumaraswamy had thrown an open challenge to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, daring him to contest from Chamundeshwari.
‘Won 5 out of 7 times in Chamundeshwari’: Siddaramaiah takes on Kumaraswamy
‘Won 5 out of 7 times in Chamundeshwari’: Siddaramaiah takes on Kumaraswamy
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“Does JD(S) President Kumaraswamy know how many times I have won from Chamundeshwari constituency? I have contested from Chamundeshwari seven times and won five times. Does he not know that? Should I learn from Kumaraswamy?”

This was the scathing reply given by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday in response to JD(S) President HD Kumaraswamy’s open challenge.

Kumaraswamy had on Wednesday expressed scepticism over Siddaramaiah contesting from the Chamundeshwari constituency in the upcoming polls and had issued an open challenge for him to do so.

“Let Siddaramaiah contest from Chamundeshwari. We shall see how he will win. Siddaramaiah won by a small margin of 257 votes during the byelections from Chamundeshwari segment in 2006. This was only because H Vishwanath and V Srinivas Prasad had supported him,” Kumaraswamy said.

Last year, H Vishwanath, who was in the Congress defected to the JD(S) while V Srinivas Prasad, another Congress leader jumped ship to BJP.

“Don’t be surprised if he contests from Narasimharaja Assembly constituency by dispatching the incumbent MLA to Raichur,” Kumaraswamy had said.

Significance of Chamundeshwari constituency

Reacting to the JD(S) President’s statement, Siddaramaiah, on Thursday said that “a victory is a victory” even if he won the bye-polls by a small margin.

“I know all the constituents in Chamundeshwari constituency. I have their blessings. When Kumaraswamy was the CM and Yeddyurappa was the Deputy CM, they contested against me in the Chamundeshwari bye-poll and yet I won. When Kumaraswamy was the CM, the constituents of Chamundeshwari did not listen to him. Why will they do so now?” Siddaramaiah remarked.

Siddaramaiah first contested from the Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru district in 1983 as an independent. Since then he has contested from the seat on six other occasions, losing only twice – in 1989 when he was the Janata Dal candidate and in 1999 when he stood on a JD(S) ticket.

In 2006, Siddaramaiah resigned as Chamundeshwari MLA after being expelled by the JD(S) following differences with party leader and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda. His resignation forced a bye-election, which he then went on to win on a Congress ticket, albeit by a wafer-thin margin of 257 votes.  

After the delimitation in 2008, most of the villages, which formed Siddaramaiah’s support base, were shifted to the Varuna constituency. It was then that Siddaramaiah switched to the Varuna constituency, which he went on to win in the 2008 and 2013 Assembly Elections.  

Speculation is now rife that the Chief Minister may vacate the Varuna seat to make way for his son Dr Yathindra, while Siddaramaiah will return to Chamundeshwari. Sources say that if the Chief Minister decides to contest from Chamundeshwari, the odds are against him.

CM hits out at Amit Shah’s ‘Ahindu’ remark

Recalling the results of the Nanjangud and Gundlupete bye-polls in 2017, Siddaramaiah said that the BJP’s campaigning had not worked then and it would not work this time around.

Stating that the visits paid by BJP National President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi to Karnataka would not have any effect, Siddaramaiah also reacted to Shah calling him “Ahindu”.

“Let them come how many ever times they want to and talk to whomever they want. It will not make any difference. Amit Shah called me Ahindu but Shah himself follows Jainism. Since Jainism is a different religion so is he Ahindu? No matter what statements they (Shah and Modi) make they will not win the election. Amit Shah is scared of me, that’s why he is making these statements and visiting all the places I have visited,” Siddaramaiah said.

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