New Delhi, April 15: The Congress on Sunday released the first list of candidates for upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be contesting from Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru. In 2013 Legislative Assembly election he had contested from Varuna Constituency.

Looking at the political history, this will be called Ghar-wapsi as Siddaramaiah won his first by-polls from Chamundeshwari constituency in 2006 by a margin of 257 votes against M Shivabasappa of JDS. In 2005, Siddaramaiah was expelled from JD(S) and he wanted to form a regional party. Later he joined the Congress. However, in the 2008 state Assembly elections, he contested from Varuna Constituency and won. He has won five times from Varuna Constituency and this time his son Dr Yatheendra is contesting from there.

According to reports, it is believed that Siddaramaiah is likely to lose the election from Chamundeshwari constituency as many of his voters went to the Varuna seat after the constituency was divided. It is stated that Siddaramaiah is opting for a safe place as he fears that he might lose, claimed by JD(S) state president HD Kumaraswamy. (Also read: Congress Releases List of 218 Candidates)

Siddaramaiah has announced that 2018 election will be his last election and said that he will contest it from Chamundeshwari because he derived his political strength from here. Chamundeshwari constituency comprises of Vokkaligas, Kurubas, Nayaks, Lingayats, and Dalits.  Siddaramaiah who belongs from Lingayat community hopes to get support which will help him in winning the election. With so much political happening, Chamundeshwari constituency will be the most important seat in this election.

The term of the 224-member Karnataka Assembly will expire on May 28. Elections will be held on May 12 and the counting of votes in all 224 constituencies will be held on May 15. Currently, the state is ruled by Siddaramaiah-led Congress. The party is in power with 122 seats against the BJP’s 43.

In the outgoing assembly, the BJP has 48 legislators, including four from the Karnataka Janata Party, a regional outfit, Yeddyurappa floated in December 2012 after he left the party owing to his removal as Chief Minister.

After the Bharatiya Janata Party swept the Tripura Assembly Elections and performing well in Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018, all eyes are now on Karnataka, which is a Congress-ruled state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah have accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of massive corruption, sounding the poll bugle in the state.