Bengaluru: In a master stroke, the Congress in Karnataka is strategising to field a formidable candidate against Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in Shiggaon constituency to ensure his defeat from his native constituency, sources confirmed on Friday.
Congress senior leaders will soon take a call on fielding Vinay Kulkarni, Congress leader, former minister and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah’s blue eyed boy against Chief Minister Bommai. The calculation is Vinay Kulkarni belongs to Panchamasali sub caste of Lingayat community while Bommai belongs to Sadar sub-caste.
The votes of Panchamasali sub sect play a deciding role in the constituency. The Panchamasali sub sect is not happy with BJP in connection with a series of incidents that took place in connection with its demand to get reservation under OBC quota. Vinay Kulkarni and his family members are actively participating in the agitation by the Panchamasali sub-sect.
Vinaky Kulkarni has confirmed the news and stated that Congress party wants him to contest against Bommai. However, he maintained that he is preferring to contest from Dharwad Rural, his native constituency. The party will take a final call on this and there are many leaders in the party who can give a tough fight to Chief Minister Bommai, he said.
Bommai is getting elected from Shiggaon constituency three times from BJP. In the 2018 elections, Ajjam Peer Khadri from Congress was defeated by 9,000 votes. He had secured 74,000 votes. CM Bommai had secured 83,000 votes and emerged victorious.
The Congress thinks that if Vinay Kulkarni is fielded, he will ensure breaking of Lingayat vote bank and with traditional Congress votes its candidate can win. The contest will also ensure that Bommai focuses more on his constituency, affecting his state-wide campaign.