New Delhi/Bengaluru:Karnataka’s incumbent Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress was leading in Badami but trailing in Chamundeshwari as votes were counted on Tuesday.
Siddaramaiah is contesting against B Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami, an important seat in the Bagalkot district, which falls in what is known as the “Mumbai-Karnataka region” of the state.
After a scare when counting started, Siddaramaiah has moved ahead in Badami, a seat that he wanted to contest because of doubts over Chamundeshwari.
Siddaramaiah had given up his own seat Varuna, for his son Yathindra.
The Congress won Badami in 2013 and before this, the BJP won in 2008.
With a population of over 50,000, Badami has many from Siddaramaiah’s Kuruba community. It also has a sizeable population of Lingayats and Veerashaivas.
The BJP, determined not to give Siddaramaiah a walkover, fielded B Sriramulu, a parliamentarian who is known for a solid record of winning elections.
B Sriramulu, a close aide of the powerful Reddy brothers of Ballari, has been talked about as a deputy chief minister if the BJP comes to power. The 46-year-old, who had performed a gau puja (cow worship) on election day on Saturday, began his day with elaborate puja rituals.
He is also contesting in the Molakalmuru constituency near Ballari.
Siddaramaiah is struggling in Chamundeshwari, a seat that has elected him five times in the past.
He faces GT Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal Secular.
Chamundeshwari (Gen) is in the Mysore district and Southern Karnataka region of the state.