TUMKUR: The Congress took pains, here on Wednesday, to explain the absence of Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, from the poll campaign in Tumkur district in the run-up to the elections to the Legislative Council from local authorities constituency.
Addressing presspersons at the end of the campaign here on Wednesday, S. Shafi Ahmed, president of Tumkur District Congress Committee (TDCC), said: “It is true that Mr. Siddaramaiah did not tour the district for the poll campaign.”
His absence from the campaign gained significance given that the Tumkur seat was left for the Janata Dal (Secular) based on the poll pact between the Congress and the JD(S). The JD(S) fielded M.R. Hulinaiker, important leader of the Kuruba community, who was in the forefront of organising the historic AHINDA meet in Tumkur that paved the way for Mr. Siddaramaiah to part ways with the JD(S). Mr. Ahmed took pains to explain that neither did the TDCC invite Mr. Siddaramaiah to take up campaign work, nor did the KPCC choose to depute the leader to the district for the task.
The Kurubas, the third largest community in the district (next to Lingayats and Vokkaligas), are known to be steadfast followers of Mr. Siddaramaiah.