BADAMI, KARNATAKA: Lok Sabha MP B Sreeramulu will be the BJP’s pick to take on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the Badami constituency for the coming Karnataka Assembly elections. Sreeramulu filed his nomination papers for the battle, within an hour of Siddaramaiah.
Siddaramaiah is presently the MLA for the Chamundeshwari seat, and is contesting from both there and from Badami. Sreeramulu is the BJP MP representing Bellary in Parliament.
The level of importance the BJP Is attaching to Sreeramulu’s outing in Badami was evident from the leaders who accompanied him to file the nomination – BJP’s 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.
The Karnataka BJP also went after Siddaramaiah, portraying his decision to contest from two seats as a sign of his uncertainty. “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,” the state unit of the party tweeted.
Other BJP leaders from the state also used the opportunity to take a shot at the CM. “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.
Sreeramulu has seen ups and downs in his relationship with the BJP. He had contested elections for the first time on a BJP ticket from Bellary in the 1999 Assembly election. He contested from the same seat again and won in the 2004 and 2008 Assembly elections. In 2011, he quit the BJP and launched his own part, called the BSR Congress Party (BSRCP) and won from Bellary again in 2013. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Bellary constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.