Karnataka elections: Congress chief ministerial candidates Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah leading in their constituencies

New Delhi: Two prominent faces of Congress in Karnataka and contenders for the post of Chief Minister , State unit president DK Shivakumar and former CM Siddaramaiah were leading in their respective seats on Saturday even as the counting of votes for the May 10 polls indicated a clear majority for the Congress.

around 1.15 pm Data on the Election Commission’s website on Saturday showed Shivakumar leading in the Kanakapura assembly seat in Ramanagara district by 77,891 votes. BJP’s former deputy CM R. Ashok secured 11,752 votes, while JD(S) candidate BR Ramachandra got 13,634 votes.

In the previous assembly elections in 2018, Shivakumar had defeated his then nearest rival Narayana Gowda of JD(S) from the same seat by around 80,000 votes.

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah is leading over BJP’s V. Somanna by 57,393 votes in Varuna constituency, a Lingayat leader and minister. Varuna, in the Mysore region, is considered a Lingayat stronghold. Somanna and Bharathi Shankar of JD(S) won 34,380 and 724 votes respectively.

Siddaramaiah Has called this his last election.

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riding on popularity

Vokkaliga leader and seven-time MLA Shivakumar is seen as an organization man who has kept the Congress well oiled by highlighting corruption charges and raising issues of alleged misgovernance during the campaign in the state The ruling BJP has been continuously pushed on the back foot. ahead of the May 10 election.

During his tenure, Shivakumar has also maintained a balanced relationship with the Congress headquarters in Delhi, resulting in a largely free hand in conducting the business of the state unit.

Meanwhile, Kuruba leader Siddaramaiah has been the face of the Congress and is seen as the most popular leader of the party.

Though Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah have been bitter rivals on the issue of the chief minister’s post if the Congress wins, they have presented a united face for the elections.

Despite his credentials, the fight was tough for Siddaramaiah as the BJP had fielded Lingayat community heavyweight Somanna in a seat where the Lingayat vote is around 40 per cent. However, as an OBC leader, Siddaramaiah has a large following among backward classes and scheduled castes, who also have a sizeable presence in the constituency.

The Varuna assembly constituency has been held by the Siddaramaiah family since its formation in 2008. While Siddaramaiah has won the seat twice, his son Yathindra won the same seat in 2018.

In the last election, Siddaramaiah contested from two seats – Chamundeshwari and Badami. While he lost Chamundeshwari, he won the Badami seat.

In 2019, after the JD(S)-Congress government was voted out of power, Siddaramaiah was made the leader of the Congress Legislature Party in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.

(Editing by Richa Mishra)

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