Of all 224 Assembly constituencies in Karnataka, Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru district has assumed greater importance this Assembly elections. More so, after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah declared that he would contest from the constituency. The Opposition parties are leaving no stone unturned to leave their impression in Siddaramaiah's home turf making it a battle of prestige.
The JD(S) party state president HD Kumaraswamy is kick-starting the poll campaign - Vikasa Yatra - from the celebrated constituency on November 7. After offering his prayers to the ruling diety of Mysuru Chamundeshwari, Kumaraswamy will address the gathering at Chamundeshwari constituency. In fact, Kumaraswamy has stated that "Vikasa Yatra would be the second battle of my life. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has spoken very light of JD(S) and also about me. People of Chamundeshwari constituency will surely show him who do they support."
The BJP that has already begun its 'Nava Karnataka Parivarthan Yatra', will conclude its campaign at the chief minister's home turf, it is reported. Undoubtedly, the constituency that has contributed in a great deal in shaping Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's career has turned out to be the battle ground of prestige for political parties.
In fact, the whole scenario reminds the 2006 Chamundeshwari by-elections. Then JD(S) deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah had joined the Congress following an invitation by Sonia Gandhi and this necessitated a by-election in Chamundeshwari Constituency.
Then BJP had stayed away from the polls - joining hands with the JD(S). Siddaramaiah had won with a thin margin of 257 votes against his rival Shivabasappa of JD(S).
In fact, Siddaramaiah won as an independent candidate in 1983. As a Janata Party nominee he won in 1985 but lost in 1989. He again won from the constituency in 1994 only to lose in 1999 against A Guruswamy of Congress. After his win in 2004, Siddaramaiah shifted his constituency to Varuna.
However, now there are accusations that Siddaramaiah never visited the constituency after he won the last elections from the Varuna constituency. This time, Siddaramaiah has sacrificed the Varuna constituency for his son Dr Yatindra for his political debut. This has apparently proved advantageous for both BJP and JD(S). Besides, the secret meeting of his friends-turned-bete noires - V Srinivas Prasad, GT Deve Gowda (the current MLA) and H Vishwanath - has certainly kept the political circles abuzz.
The constituency has over two lakh voters, which is considered highest from other constituencies in the district. Besides, it is the biggest constituency among the Assembly constituencies in Mysuru district.
With the Opposition parties vowing to teach a lesson to Siddaramaiah in his own backyard, it is to be seen whether their strategies would charm the people.