Siddaramaiah to contest from two seats as nominations close for Assembly polls

Siddaramaiah is contesting the upcoming elections from two seats Badami and Chamundeshwari.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah filed his nomination from a second constituency, Badami in north Karnataka, as the deadline for entering the fray for the May 12 assembly polls ended today with a total of over 3,900 nominations submitted since the process was initiated. On the last day for filing of nominations, the BJP quickly named Sreeramulu as its candidate for the constituency and rushed him to Badami with state party president B S Yeddyurappa and BJP Karnataka in-charge P Muralidhar Rao.

The party submitted a memorandum alleging that the ruling Congress in Karnataka is resorting to all sorts of unprofessional conducts to fix the assembly elections.

The 40 high-profile campaigners are set to kick the BJP's campaign in the state into high gear just before the polls.

Yeddyurappa's announcement led to vandalism by supporters of Vijayendra, who raised slogans against party chief Amit Shah. Local media quoted its Karnataka head as saying this week that the party had no "secret pact" with the BJP as suggested by Congress leaders in the state.

Interestingly, it is widely held that the Karnataka elections will serve as bellwether ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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Ugly scenes broke out in Nanjangud after Yeddyurappa announced the party's decision at a workers' convention.

The ruling Congress fielded 15 women, the BJP 16 and the JD-S 12.

Alarmed over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, the Home Minister asked the public who was responsible for a police officer's death in the area and who humiliated former Mysuru Deputy Commissioner C. Shikha.

"They (BJP) want to make it a tough fight for Siddaramaiah and confine him to campaigning in these two seats", A. Narayana, political analyst and faculty at the Azim Premji University, said. Ambareesh and Seetharam had figured in the Congress party's first list.

However, the move was seen by many, including the Opposition, as one to garner votes in favour of the Congress Party.

Karnataka is the only south Indian state that the Hindu-nationalist BJP has ruled for a full five-year term on its own, following a surprise victory in 2008.

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