NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Tuesday reiterated that upcoming Assembly elections will be his last electoral battle, but he will remain active in Karnataka politics.
The former Chief Minister last month announced his decision to contest from Kolar this time, subject to approval from the Congress high command.
However, he said he is ready to enter the poll fray from whichever segment the party asks him to, whether it is from Badami or Varuna.
On Tuesday, he addressed a large number of his supporters and party workers who had come from Badami, to urge him to contest from his current constituency once again.
''You have to understand my difficulty too, I'm 76 now, and this will be my last election, I will not be contesting an election again. I will be in politics, but will not contest polls, this is my last election,'' Siddaramaiah said.
The Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly said, ''I have thought about contesting the election from a constituency nearer (to Bengaluru). Despite this, I will contest from wherever the high command asks me to.''
''If they ask me to contest from Badami I will contest from Badami, if they say Varuna, I will contest from there and if they say Kolar, I will contest from there. Please don't mistake me, in case I don't contest from Badami, I will still remain and work like a Badami MLA, I can never forget the people of Badami,'' he added.
The Congress legislature party leader, who is nursing Chief Ministerial ambitions in the event of party coming to power, and is looking for a ''safe seat'', in January announced that he will be contesting the polls from the Kolar, ending all speculations.
Siddaramaiah, who currently represents Badami segment of Bagalkote district in north Karnataka, has repeatedly indicated that he may not contest from there, citing his inability to devote more time for people and party workers of the constituency as the reason.
Speaking to supporters, amid repeated interruptions from them with calls to contest from Badami again, he said, ''In my application to the Congress party I have said that I'm a sitting member in Badami. I will contest if the high command asks me to contest from there, if not, people from Varuna are asking me to contest from there and if the party agrees I will contest from there, people from Kolar are also calling and if asked I will contest from there.''
Noting that his plans of contesting from constituency other than Badami, is only because, he will not be able to be with the people there and address their issues on a daily basis, he said, ''people of Badami are good, you made me, someone who had come from Mysuru to win from your place. I'm indebted to you.''
''I will inform the high command, regarding your pressure on me to contest from Badami once again. The high command will meet after February 26 after the AICC session, when the screening committee meeting will be called. Party observers from Delhi, who met me this morning too have seen you with your demand, the party will ultimately decide,'' he added.
Siddaramaiah, who had earlier too announced that 2023 assembly polls will be his last, had made it clear that he would not contest from his former constituency Chamundeshwari in Mysuru. As the then sitting CM, he lost the 2018 polls in Chamundeshwari to JD(S) G T Deve Gowda by 36,042 votes.
He, however, won Badami, the other constituency from where he had contested in the 2018 polls, and defeated B Sriramulu (BJP) by 1,696 votes.
Making his debut in the Assembly in 1983, Siddaramaiah had got elected from Chamundeshwari on a Lok Dal Party ticket. He has won five times from this constituency and tasted defeat thrice.
After neighbouring Varuna became a constituency in 2008 following delimitation, Siddaramaiah represented it till he vacated the seat for his son Dr Yatindra (MLA) in the 2018 assembly polls and went back to his old constituency of Chamundeshwari.
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