Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: Winning Badami constituency may not be a cakewalk for Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah in Karnataka. Posing a challenge to his candidature, the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded party heavyweight and Bellary MP B Sreeramulu against Siddaramaiah. However, the chief minister will also contest from Chamundeshwari constituency. Both, Siddaramaiah and Sreeramulu have filed their nomination papers.
Siddaramaiah’s opponent Sreeramulu is no ordinary leader in the state. For some, Sreeramulu is the second top leader in BJP from the state. While filing his nomination papers, Sreeramulu was accompanied by BJP CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa, former Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and party general secretary Muralidhar Rao.
“As directed by @BJP4India Central Election Committee and @BJP4Karnataka President Sree @BSYBJP Ji , I will be contesting from Badami Constituency as well. Filed Nomination Papers. Urge your support and blessings,” Sreeramulu tweeted after filing his nomination.
Sreeramulu, a four-time MLA and sitting MP, had contested an election on a BJP ticket from Bellary in the 1999 Assembly elections. In 2011, he had quit the BJP and launched his own party, called the BSR Congress Party (BSRCP). He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bellary constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Karnataka BJP has slammed Siddaramaiah for fighting election from two constituencies. “A sitting CM contesting from 2 seats confirms, 1. His pathetic performance in government for last 5 years… 2. How paranoid CM is of an imminent coup led by Parameshwar & DK Shi… CM will be effortlessly defeated by our leader Shri @BSreeramulu_bjp in Badami. #BadamiWithBJP,” Karnataka BJP tweeted.
Other BJP leaders also took a swipe at Siddaramaiah. “Mr @siddaramaiah is being fooled by his intelligence team by asking him to contest in Badami.When 20 out of 26 Taluk Panchayat is won by BJP & majority of Grama Panchayat is with BJP. It looks like @INCIndia mislead him & wants to finish his political career,” tweeted former Karnataka minister Shobha Karandlaje.