Mysuru: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will campaign in the Varuna constituency on Tuesday May 2, where the battle is between Congress strongman, Siddaramaiah and senior BJP leader and state minister V. Somanna.
The constituency is witnessing a tight contest, and campaigning has turned bitter. Violent incidents have also been reported. What seemed to be a cake-walk for Siddaramaiah has changed now, and with Shah campaigning the fight could be cut-throat.
Amit Shah is addressing a public rally in the Hosakote village of the constituency. Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, MP and veteran leader V. Srinivasparasad, who is a prominent Dalit leader in the region, are participating in the programme.
The Home Minister wants to send a strong signal to the voters that fielding of Somanna against Siddaramaiah was a serious and calculated move of the party. The programme will also put an end to the rumours in the political circles that Somanna is being made a sacrificial goat by the party.
However, souces said that the BJP had planned to confine Siddaramaiah to Varuna constituency and plans to not allow him to take up statewide tours and campaign for Congress.
Siddaramaiah is considered to be the leader of oppressed classes and he often takes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and RSS chief. BJP has been strategizing for his downfall in the state politics for a long time.
However, the contest for him this time is proving to be a cliffhanger as the Lingayat community comprises the largest group of voters in the constituency. By roping in veteran Dalit leader Srinivasprasad, the BJP wants to consolidate the equally biggest chunk of votes of SC/ST and OBCs in the seat.
It was rumoured that Yediyurappa and Somanna had locked horns and there would be division of Lingayat votes. However, Amit Shah is ensuring Yediyurappa is present and pledges his support for Somanna. In fact, Yediyurappa had already stated that he would ensure the defeat of Siddaramaiah.
Siddaramaiah, who stated he would not even bother to visit the constituency and his victory is ensured, had to rush and conduct day-long campaigning recently. The BJP and Congress workers are in confrontation mode and the situation is volatile as polling day is getting closer. Siddaramaiah is vying for the post of Chief Minister if the Congress is voted to power. BJP has promised a big role for Somanna if he defeats Siddaramaiah.