K.V. Subramanya

Party to contest for only one seat in Karnataka

Srirama Reddy is a former MLA of Bagepalli

His name has been recommended to

central committee

CHICKABALLAPUR: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to field G.V. Srirama Reddy, former MLA for Bagepalli, from the Chickaballapur Lok Sabha constituency.

Mr. Reddy told The Hindu on Wednesday that a decision had been taken by the State committee of the CPI (M) to contest only the Chickaballapur seat in the State and it had recommended his name to the party central committee.

However, the central committee was yet to clear his name.

Mr. Reddy, who won the 1994 and 2004 Assembly elections from Bagepalli, lost the 2008 elections by a narrow margin to N. Sampangi of the Congress. Asked whether the Janata Dal (Secular), a third front partner, had agreed to support the CPI (M) in Chickaballapur, Mr. Reddy said the JD (S) had so far not spoken to his party leaders in the State on seat-sharing.

The JD (S), however, has announced that film-maker C.R. Manohar of Yelahanka would be its candidate from the Chickaballapur constituency.

Accompanied by party leaders, Mr. Manohar has already toured the entire constituency and held meetings with local leaders and workers.

It is said that the JD(S), which has a good support base in the Chickaballapur constituency, was not willing to leave the seat to the CPI (M). Instead, it wanted the CPI (M) to contest from Dakshina Kannada or Udupi-Chickmagalur constituencies.

Strong base

While the CPI (M) has a strong base in Bagepalli, Gudibande and parts of Gauribidanur and Chickaballapur taluks, it has some presence in other segments of the parliamentary constituency. However, its frontal organisations such as the Students’ Federation of India, the Democratic Youth Federation of India, the Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha and affiliated trade unions are active throughout the constituency.

Exuding confidence that he would enter the poll fray, Mr. Reddy said that the CPI (M) had started its election preparations in the constituency six months ago.

The party has held conventions in all the eight Assembly segments falling under the constituency. Besides, prominent leaders of the CPI (M) and its frontal organisations have toured the constituency.