Amid hyped campaign by the BJP and the Congress to capture Badami seat in May 12 election to Karnataka Legislative Assembly, the former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda headed JD (S) has played up the "local and outsiders" card to make all the difference.
Siddaramaiah stated that Amit Shah was not at all a good strategist and asked, "what strategy has he got in Karnataka? Yeddyurappa should become the chief minister and the BJP should win 150 seats and I am here to help the party in this effort", Sriramulu said. Sriramulu had earlier filed his nomination papers from Molakalmuru constituency in Chitradurga district.
"I have heard from media outlets that some people highlighting certain reservations I have about Siddaramaiah being the chief ministerial candidate".
Citing health reasons, he said: "I was treated in a Singapore hospital four years back and age is also a factor".
With almost 40 per cent of people in Badami belonging to the backward class Kuruba community, to which Siddaramaiah belongs, the seat is considered a safe bet for the CM compared to Chamundeshwari, where the JDS and BJP are seen as having allied tacitly.
However, Siddaramaiah expressed his faith in the voters and said that he was least bothered as to who will contest against him.
"Was he scared of defeat?" he questioned.
"People of the area (Badami and north Karnataka) want Siddaramaiah to contest from Badami".
"I will not contest and if the High Command denies ticket to Vijayendra, we will convince Vijayendra to contest as Independent and ensure his victory", he told reporters.
The results of the Assembly elections will be released on May 15.
However, BJP leaders across the state are confident that it has turned a corner since the 2013 "humiliation" and are predicting that the BJP will even win the 113 seats required to form a majority in the Karnataka assembly. With the third list, the party has named candidates for 213 of the 224 seats in Karnataka.
BJP has decided to make Badami tough for Siddaramaiah and, in a last minute move, the party announced Sriramulu as its candidate.
The exact dates of the BJP leaders' visits to the state are yet to be finalised, the spokesperson added.