Congress in Karnataka and its CM Siddaramaiah seem to be in panic mode now. The seat selected by any leader to contest elections, reveals a lot about the confidence of the leader and the party. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has decided to contest the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections from the Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru. This decision paints an entirely different picture for the Congress Party and its chances, than what is being claimed by Rahul Gandhi. While this decision may look like any other political move, an in-depth analysis hints at a sinking Congress ship.
Siddaramaiah contested the 2013 elections from the Varuna Constituency in Mysuru, which is considered a safe seat. He has vacated this seat for his son Yathindra, who will be fighting the elections for the first time. It is most likely that Siddaramaiah’s son will win from the Varuna seat. A Congress leader stated that Siddaramaiah knows he will never be in such a dominant position again, and wants to ensure that his son enters politics successfully before his clout shrinks. The question that arises is what would happen to Siddaramaiah’s political future.
Siddaramaiah has won five times and lost twice from the Chamundeshwari constituency, between 1983 and 2008. He has won all five times under the banner of different parties and even as an independent. So ideally, this should make the seat extremely safe for him? Well, that is not the case. The erstwhile Chamundeshwari constituency was split in 2004, and most of his core voters went to the Varuna Constituency. Notably, Siddaramaiah’s only victory from Chamundeshwari after the split, was by a slender margin of 257 votes.
The internal survey by the Congress also reveals that Siddaramaiah will lose if he fights the elections from Chamundeshwari. Siddaramaiah too conducted surveys which indicated that he could win only from the Basavakalyana constituency in Bidar and the Narasimharaja constituency in Mysuru. The former is ruled out as it is not in his home district of Mysuru, while the latter is the turf for Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait. So, the only option left for Siddaramaiah was to return to the constituency of Chamundeshwari.
It would be safe to say that the political strategist of BJP and JD(S) have ensured that Siddaramaiah has no option but to fight a losing battle if he wants to secure a victory for his son from the Varuna seat. Siddaramaiah is trying to woo the voters using the sympathy factor, by announcing that this will be his last election. He is also hoping to get the support of the Kuruba and the Lingayat communities. He belongs to the former, and has assured a separate religion & minority status to the latter, possibly to reap the political dividends.
Some may argue that there is nothing that prevents Chief Minister Siddaramaiah from moving to any other safe seat. But such a move will bring the lack of confidence on the part of the sitting Chief Minister out in the open. It is evident that the CM knows he is most likely to lose from Chamundeshwari. It appears that he is aware of the fact that winning the state is a lost cause. So instead of trying to become the chief minister again, he is doing the one thing that the Congress is well-known for- perpetuating a dynasty.
A loss for the serving CM will probably end his political career, considering the fact that he is already 69 years-old. However, with his son contesting from the safe seat, he is ensuring that his dynasty continues, notwithstanding what happens to his party. All eyes will certainly be on the Chamundeshwari seat in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections. Only time will tell whether people see through this shrewd move or Chief Minister Siddaramaiah manages to pull off a miracle.
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