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Siddaramaiah says will quit electoral politics, but not politics

Siddaramaiah says will quit electoral politics, but not politics

Mysuru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the Congress's chief face in the southern region after a convincing victory in the 2023 elections, has said he has decided not to contest elections anymore as he won't have the health and enthusiasm needed to work after four years given his age.

During the 2023 assembly polls, he called it his last election but said he would remain in politics. And following the elections, there were wide speculations whether he or the party chief DK Shivakumar would be chosen as the leader. Eventually, the Congress high command's writ fell in favour of the current CM and Shivakumar was made the deputy chief minister.

"People in Varuna want me to contest once again for the Assembly polls. But I have decided not to contest elections any more. I'm 77 now. I still have four years (the tenure of his government). I will be 81-82 and won't have the health. I will not be able to work happily. Can I work with enthusiasm? Enough," Siddaramaiah said.

"By 2028 (when the next Assembly elections are due in Karnataka), I will be 82 and will have completed 50 years in politics. In 1978, I became the taluk board member," he said.

When told he doesn't look old, he said, "I may not look old, but who can experience aging - you or me?"

Siddaramaiah won the last Karnataka election from the Varuna constituency, entering the state assembly for the ninth time.

He had lost from Chamundeshwari in 2018 but won from Badami, the other constituency he contested, and went on to serve as the Leader of the Opposition.

Making his debut in the state assembly in 1983, Siddaramaiah was elected from Chamundeshwari on a Lok Dal Party ticket. He won five times from this constituency and tasted defeat thrice.

After neighbouring Varuna became a constituency in 2008 following delimitation, Siddaramaiah represented it until he vacated the seat for his son Dr Yatindra in 2018 and went back to his old constituency - Chamundeshwari. In 2023, Yathindra returned the favour to his father and vacated the seat.

Ahead of the May 2018 Assembly polls, Siddaramaiah had said it would "most likely" be his last.

Earlier, during the 2013 Assembly polls too, he had said it would be his last poll but went on to become Chief Minister.

Amid speculations about a leadership change, Siddaramaiah on Monday asked the people of his constituency to give the Congress candidate a lead of at least 60,000 votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls to ensure that he remains in the top post.

Downplaying his statement, Siddaramaiah said: "I was not emotional. I just said that for all the development work to continue, I should be there. That's all. If the BJP comes, they will stop all this. With this intention I said it. I have got a lead of 48,000 votes. I asked for an even bigger lead for Sunil Bose (the Congress candidate from Chamarajanagar under which Varuna falls)."

(PTI feed with minor edits)

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TAGS:SiddaramaiahDK ShivakumarIndia newslok Sasbha elections 2024
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