BS Yeddyurappa Says He Will Contest From Shikaripura Constituency

BENGALURU: Changing his stand, state BJP President BS Yeddyurappa today said he has decided to contest the 2018 assembly polls from his traditional Shikaripura constituency and would not shift to north Karnataka.

He said people of Shikaripura who had supported him all along were saying he could file his nomination from there and go around the state for campaigning and they would ensure his victory with a huge margin.

It was earlier decided that he should contest from Terdala constituency (in Bagalkote in north Karnataka) or any other constituency in Bijapur or Bagalkote districts in north Karnataka, he told reporters in Bagalkote.

“…but people in Shikaripura (in Shivamogga) are pressurising me to contest from there,” he added.

BJP sources had earlier said Mr Yeddyurappa was most likely to contest from a constituency in one of north Karnataka districts this time, with an intention to attract more votes towards the party from the region, following instructions from the party leadership.

Shikaripura in Shivamogga district had been Mr Yeddyurappa’s constituency since 1983 from where he had got elected seven times and lost once.

Following his election to Parliament in 2014, his son BY Raghavendra who won the subsequent by-polls was representing the constituency in the assembly.

Pointing out that he was elected to Parliament from Shivamogga district with a record margin, Mr Yeddyurappa said when he visited it recently people pressurised him.

“I have given my consent and there is no question of reconsidering it,” he said.

Mr Yeddyurappa also said he will “convince” and “request” BJP high-command in this regard and “get them agreed to it”.

BJP has named Mr Yeddyurappa, who led the party to its first ever government in the south in 2008, as its Chief Ministerial candidate and set a target to win 150 seats for the 2018 assembly polls.

Mr Yeddyurappa said that at booth level meets in Shikaripura, people unanimously told him that they would not let him shift to another constituency.

Bagalkote district party President Siddu Savadi would be BJP candidate from Terdala, he said, adding it would work towards ensuring his victory by a margin of about 25,000 votes.

“There is no confusion about it and there is no question of reconsideration on this issue,” he added.