Kalpana Siddaraju’s decision to quit the Janata Dal (Secular) and join the Congress has shaken things up in the contest for Maddur Assembly constituency.

Wife of the late M.S. Siddaraju, former MLA, her association with the Congress is expected to strengthen the party in Maddur, given its poor show in the urban local body (ULB) polls.

In fact, it is believed that Ms. Siddaraju played a major role in the success of the Janata Dal (S) in the ULB elections. (The party came to power in the Maddur Town Municipal Council.)

She said she was promised a Janata Dal (S) ticket, but the party instead decided to give it to D.C. Thamanna, two-time MLA and a confidant of the former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna.

Mr. Thammanna, who was once in the Congress, contested on a BJP ticket in 2008, but lost to Ms. Siddaraju.

“I want to widen the Congress party’s base in Mandya,” she said.

“If I am denied the Congress ticket, I will contest as an Independent.”

The Maddur Assembly constituency was considered a Congress bastion. However, Siddaraju won on a Janata Dal (S) ticket in 2008. After he died in a few months, his wife was elected in the byelection.

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