Koppal: Former CM Siddaramaiah on Friday denied that he was considering contesting the Lok Sabha election either from Koppal or any other constituency in the state. Speaking to reporters at the Koppal airstrip on Friday, he was categorical in his statement although there has been much speculation that the Congress high command is keen on him contesting the poll, which is crucial for it to come to power at the Centre.
Mr Siddaramaiah had contested the 1991 Lok Sabha elections from Koppal on a Janata Dal ticket, but lost to Mr Basavaraj Patil Anwari of the Congress by a narrow margin. The fact that his Kuruba community has a large presence in the constituency has also added to rumours that he may be fielded from it.
But denying all such talk, Mr Siddaramaiah merely said that the coalition partners in the state government, the JD(S) and Congress, would face the election together and share the Lok Sabha constituencies. Party insiders, however, continue to insist that the Kuruba strongman may consider contesting the poll from a constituency in north Karnataka where his community has a large presence.
Should he not choose to contest from Koppal, Congress leaders from the community have made it clear they want the party ticket to go to a Kuruba candidate. While Mr Siddaramaiah seems in no mood to contest from Koppal, former minister and Kushtagi Congress MLA, Amaregouda Bayyapura , a Raddi Lingayat, has no such misgivings and has thrown his hat into the ring for a ticket from the constituency. “I have been trying to go to New Delhi for the last 15 years, but have not succeeded. This time I am serious,” he said recently.