Enough, won’t contest elections anymore, says CM Siddaramaiah, cites advancing age


PTI, Apr 2, 2024, 6:40 PM IST

Mysuru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said he has decided not to contest in elections anymore, as he won’t have the health and enthusiasm needed to work after four years with advancing age.

During the 2023 assembly polls itself, he had declared that it will be his last election, but he will continue to remain in politics.

“People in Varuna want me to contest once again for Assembly polls from there, but I have decided not to contest in elections anymore. Now I’m 77 year old , still I have four years time (assembly tenure), I will be 81-82 year-old by then. I won’t have health, and I will not be able to work happily. Can I work with enthusiasm? Enough,” Siddaramaiah said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, “By 2028 (when Assembly elections are due in Karnataka), I will be 82-year-old, and I will complete 50 years in politics. In 1978, I became the taluk board member.”

When told he doesn’t look old, he said, “I may not look old, but who can experience aging, you or me?”

Siddaramaiah during May assembly polls last year had emerged victorious in Varuna constituency, entering the Assembly for the ninth time.

Siddaramaiah, the then sitting chief minister, had lost in Chamundeshwari in 2018. He, however, won in Badami, the other constituency from where he had contested, and went on to serve as Leader of Opposition.

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

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

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

Earlier, during the 2013 Assembly polls too, he had said that it was his last election and went on to become Chief Minister after the polls.

Amid speculations about leadership change, Siddaramaiah on Monday asked the people of his Varuna assembly segment 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 post.

Downplaying his statement, Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said: “I was not emotional, I just said that for all the development work to continue, I should be there, that’s all. Because if BJP comes, they will stop all this. With that intention I said. I have got a lead of 48,000 votes, I asked for an even bigger lead for Sunil Bose (Congress candidate from Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha segment under which Varuna comes).”

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