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All eyes are on Chamundeshwari constituency

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Staff Correspondent

Siddaramaiah likely to contest in the bypoll as Congress candidate Former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah likely to contest in bypoll as Congress candidate

Siddaramaiah may resign from the membership of the Legislative Assembly shortlyJanata Dal (Secular) bracing up for the bypoll

MYSORE: The Chamundeshwari Assembly Constituency in Mysore district has become the cynosure of all eyes ever since former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, its JD (S) representative, received an invitation from Congress President Sonia Gandhi to join the party.

Mr. Siddaramaiah, who was in town on Saturday to hold consultations with his followers before deciding his future course of action, dropped broad hints that he would seek re-election from Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency as a Congress candidate after quitting as its Janata Dal (Secular) member shortly.

Sources close to Mr. Siddaramaiah told The Hindu that the former Deputy Chief Minister is expected to tender his resignation from the membership of the Legislative Assembly in one week or so. Next, he would formally join the Congress and seek re-election from Chamundeshwari constituency as a Congress candidate.

Mr Siddaramaiah's followers were also optimistic that their leader, who has won on four out of the six occasions he has contested from the constituency, will sail through during the bypoll even as a Congress nominee, banking on the anti-incumbency factor.

Mr. Siddaramaiah's hold on his constituency was demonstrated in the recent elections to the zilla and taluk panchayats a couple of months ago. His All India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD) won 23 out of the 29 seats in Mysore taluk, which comprises Chamundeshwari Assembly segment. A majority of the zilla panchayat seats in Mysore taluk were also bagged by the AIPJD.

The ruling Janata Dal (Secular) is also bracing up to the likelihood of byelection to Chamundeshwari Assembly Constituency.

Choice of Janata Dal (S)

According to sources, the party leadership is making efforts to win over L. Revanasiddaiah, who had unsuccessfully contested against Mr. Siddaramaiah during 2004 polls as a Congress candidate. The JD (S) is pinning hopes on Mr. Revanasiddaiah, who managed to poll a large number of votes during the elections, as he belongs to the Lingayat community, which is in majority in the constituency. Mr. Revanasiddaiah is still in the Congress.

The other option for the Janata Dal (Secular) is Guruswamy, who had defeated Mr. Siddaramaiah during the Assembly elections held in 1999 as a Congress candidate. Mr. Guruswamy joined the Janata Dal (S) after the Congress denied him a ticket during the 2004 Assembly polls.

Trouble for BJP

A bypoll to Chamundeshwari Assembly Constituency will also pose a challenge to the BJP in choosing its candidate. For, its long-time contestant Appanna has quit the BJP and joined Mr. Siddaramaiah's AHINDA movement.

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