With only a day left for filing nominations for the 10 May Assembly polls in Karnataka, candidates are busy thronging the offices of the concerned electoral officers.
The leaders who filed their nominations on Wednesday, 19 April, included former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramiah, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, and BJP strongman BS Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra.
Siddaramaiah to contest from Varuna
Senior Congress Siddaramaiah filed nomination from the Varuna constituency in this district, even as he reiterated that this would be his last election and virtually laid out a “succession plan” of sorts.
The 75-year-old Leader of Opposition indicated his son and grandson would be his political successors. “This is my last election, after that, there is Yathindra (son), Dhawan Rakesh (grandson),” he said.
Siddaramaiah’s younger son Dr Yathindra Siddaramaiah is the sitting Congress MLA from Varuna.
An eight-time MLA, Siddaramaiah had earlier won twice from Varuna, and went on to become the Leader of Opposition after winning from here in 2008, and then became chief minister after the 2013 Assembly polls.
The Congress legislature party leader offered prayers to his family deity Siddarameshwara at the temple in his native village of Siddaramanahundi, and also visited the Sri Rama temple there, and held a massive roadshow before filing the nomination.
ವರುಣಾ ವಿಧಾನಸಭೆ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದ ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಅಭ್ಯರ್ಥಿಯಾಗಿ ಇಂದು ನಂಜನಗೂಡಿನ ತಾಲೂಕು ಪಂಚಾಯಿತಿ ಕಚೇರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಾಮಪತ್ರ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿದೆ.
ಭ್ರಷ್ಟಾಚಾರ ರಹಿತವಾದ, ಪಾರದರ್ಶಕ ಆಡಳಿತ ನೀಡಲು ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ನಿಂದ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸಾಧ್ಯವೆಂಬುದು ನಾಡಿನ ಮತದಾರರ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯ.
ಭವಿಷ್ಯದ ದೊಡ್ಡ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಬದಲಾವಣೆಗೆ ವರುಣಾದಲ್ಲಿ ಮುನ್ನುಡಿ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದೇನೆ. pic.twitter.com/JifoGLNHUp
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) April 19, 2023
The ruling BJP has fielded Minister V Somanna from Varuna to take on Siddaramaiah.
Stating that BJP has fielded Somanna, who is a resident of Bengaluru, instead of someone born here, Siddaramaiah alleged, “BJP and JD(S) have come to an internal pact. That’s the reason why JD(S) has fielded Bharathi Shankar, former MLA from T Narasipur, as its candidate, aimed at dividing Dalit votes, but I’m confident that the people of Varuna will understand the conspiracy and will make me win with a big margin.”
“BJP and JD(S), aiming to defeatg me, may ensure money flow,” said Siddaramaiah, a chief ministerial aspirant in the event of the Congress coming to power.
“Despite all their conspiracies and spending crores of rupees, people of Varuna will not fall prey to their allurements and will bless me,” he said.
By filing nomination in Varuna, Siddaramaiah has returned to his home constituency after contesting from neighbouring Chamundeshwari, and Badami in the Bagalkote district, in the 2018 polls. He had faced a defeat in Chamundeshwari but had won in Badami.
Bommai files in Shiggaon amid fanfare
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai also filed his nomination for the 10 May Assembly polls from his traditional seat of Shiggaon in the Haveri district, amid great fanfare.
He was accompanied by BJP national president JP Nadda and Kannada film star Sudeep, as he filed his papers before the election returning officer.
Bommai is seeking re-election from Shiggaon, from where he has been an MLA three times since 2008.
Earlier, he visited temples and also held a massive road show along with Nadda and Sudeep in Shiggaon.
Hundreds of people gathered as Bommai, Nadda and Sudeep travelled through the streets in a specially-designed vehicle, after garlanding the statue of Kittur Rani Chennamma, who in 1824 led an armed resistance against the British East India Company.
They later addressed a public meeting, seeking votes for Bommai and the BJP.
ಶಿಗ್ಗಾಂವಿ-ಸವಣೂರಿನ ಜನತೆಯ ಸೇವಾಕಾರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಮುಂದುವರೆಸುವ ನಿಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂದು ಬಿಜೆಪಿ ಪಕ್ಷದ ಅಭ್ಯರ್ಥಿಯಾಗಿ ಉಮೇದುವಾರಿಕೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿದೆನು.
ಈ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿಜೆಪಿ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರಾದ ಶ್ರೀ @JPNadda, ಆತ್ಮೀಯನಾದ @KicchaSudeep ಹಾಗೂ @GovindKarjol ರವರು ಉಪಸ್ಥಿತರಿದ್ದರು.
— Basavaraj S Bommai (@BSBommai) April 19, 2023
Vijayendra files nomination in Shikaripura
BY Vijayendra, son of BJP strongman BS Yediyurappa, filed his nomination from the Shikaripura constituency in Shivamogga district.
Earlier in the day, the state BJP vice president visited a temple and also held a roadshow.
Former chief minister Yediyurappa, who represents the seat in the outgoing Assembly, and Vijayendra’s brother BY Raghavendra, who is the Lok Sabha member from Shivamogga, were among those present.
Yediyurappa has already retired from electoral politics.
ಶಿಕಾರಿಪುರ ವಿಧಾನಸಭಾ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದ ಬಿಜೆಪಿ ಅಭ್ಯರ್ಥಿಯಾಗಿ ಇಂದು ನಾಮಪತ್ರ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಲಿದ್ದು, ನಿಕಟಪೂರ್ವ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಪೂಜ್ಯ ತಂದೆಯವರಾದ ಶ್ರೀ @BSYBJP ಅವರು ಹಾಗೂ ಜನಪ್ರಿಯ ಸಂಸದರು ಹಾಗೂ ಸಹೋದರರಾದ ಶ್ರೀ @BYRBJP ಅವರ ಆಶೀರ್ವಾದ ಪಡೆಯಲಾಯಿತು. ಈ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಕುಟುಂಬದ ಸದಸ್ಯರು ಆರತಿ ಬೆಳಗಿ ಶುಭ ಕೋರಿದರು. pic.twitter.com/ZIJsvqjB7D
— Vijayendra Yeddyurappa (@BYVijayendra) April 19, 2023
Karnataka Minister R Ashoka, who is taking on state Congress president DK Shivakumar in Kanakapura, former deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi, who recently joined the Congress, and JD(S)’ YSV Datta, who recently rejoined the party, were among the other prominent leaders who filed their nominations on Tuesday.
Ashoka, a prominent Vokkaliga face in the BJP, has been fielded against Shivakumar, the community’s strongman in the Congress in his home constituency of Kanakapura, as part of the ruling party’s strategy to give a tough fight to Opposition leaders on their own turfs.
Ashoka filed his nomination in the presence of BJP national general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh and Ramanagara district in-charge and minister CN Ashwath Narayan.
They visited a temple and held a roadshow ahead of filing papers before the election returning officer.
The last day for filing of nominations is 20 April. Voting will take place on 10 May and the counting of votes will be on 13 May.
(With PTI inputs)