All eyes are on Kolar Assembly Constituency, which is located in the southern part of Karnataka and near to capital city Bengaluru. The reason for Kolar constituency getting into limelight is former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah deciding to contest from it.
Though Opposition leader Siddaramaiah is an MLA from Badami constituency right now, he is making moves to contest Assembly elections this time from Kolar. Siddaramaiah contested from Chamundeshwari and Badami constituencies in 2018. While he lost from Chamundeshwari, even in Badami he has won with a narrow margin.
Though he was a MLA from Badami, he didn’t devote much time to the constituency. The reasons he cited for not devoting time to his constituency Badami is, it is located very far from capital city. The distance between Bangalore and Badami is about 450 kms. Even in 2018 Siddaramaiah won in Badami with just 1696 votes against B Sreeramulu. So in all probability, this is not a safe seat for him.
Siddaramaiah is looking for a safe seat this time and he has selected Kolar as a safe constituency. The reason for Siddaramaiah selecting Kolar as safe seat it it has a sizeable Kuruba population, to which Siddaramaiah belongs. Besides Kolar has been strong fort for Congress and JDS. BJP has a negligible presence here. Therefore Siddaramaiah feels that it is safe bet for him.
Moreover Srinivasa Gowda, a four time MLA from JDS has shifted to Congress and offered his seat to Siddaramaiah. Incumbent Kolar MLA Srinivasa Gowda has already announced publicly that he will sacrifice his seat for former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and work for his victory.
According to political analysts, there are about 30,000 Kurubas in Kolar constituency. SCs, STs and BCs form more than 50 percent of population. There is also sizeable chunk of about 15 percent Minorities. All the groups are traditionally supporting Congress or JDS. With incumbent JDS MLA joining Congress, Siddaramaiah feels that SC, ST, BC and Minorities votes will consolidate in favour of Congress and ensure him a safe victory.
But there are also other opinions that Siddaramaiah may not find it as easy to win from Kolar constituency. Because Kolar constituency is dominated by Gowdas, who are not favourable towards Siddaramaiah. Though JDS MLA Srinivasa Gowda has shifted to Congress, still majority of Gowdas are with JDS and will leave no stone unturned to defeat Siddaramaiah. Even BJP is planning to field former MLA and Kuruba leader Varthur Prakash. This will divide Kuruba votes on which Siddaramaiah is depending on.
Hinting that Kolar constituency is not a safe constituency for Siddaramaiah, Minister Sudheer said that Siddaramaiah’s own people are misleading him and plotting to defeat him by suggesting to contest from Kolar. Even BS Yediyurappa said that Siddaramaiah is just playing drama and he will not contest from Kolar. Whether Siddaramaiah contests or not, Kolar Assembly constituency will be the hot seat this time.