As Congress is heading for a clean majority in Karnataka, senior Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah is leading in Varuna against BJP minister V Somanna.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is an eight-time MLA who previously tasted victory twice from Varuna. He became the Leader of Opposition after winning in 2008, and then became Chief Minister after 2013 Assembly polls.
Here is a brief account of the veteran politician's decades-long journey that has seen many ups and downs.
Who is Siddaramaiah?
Siddaramaiah was born on August 12, 1948 at Siddaramanahundi, a village in Mysore district.
Hailing from a poor farmer's family, he later graduated from Mysore University with B.Sc. degree and later pursued his law degree from the same university and practised law for some time.
Siddaramaiah is married to Parvati and the couple has two sons.
Political journey of Siddaramaiah
Siddaramaiah made his debut in the Assembly back in 1983 after being elected from Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysore on a Lok Dal party ticket. He later joined the ruling erstwhile Janata Party.
He was appointed as the first Chairman of 'Kannada Kavalu Samiti', which was known to be a watchdog committee bestowed with the responsibility to supervise the implementation of Kannada as official language, formed during Ramakrishna Hegde's chief ministership.
Later he became Sericulture Minister. After two years, he was re-elected in the mid-term election and served as Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services in the Hegde government.
Siddaramaiah tasted defeat in the 1989 and 1999 Assembly elections. Later in 1992, he was appointed Secretary General of Janata Dal, which H. D. Deve Gowda had also joined.
After 1994 state elections, he became Minister for Finance in the Janata Dal government headed by Deve Gowda. He was made Deputy Chief Minister when J. H. Patel became Chief Minister in 1996.
From being anti-congress to joining hands with Conress party
From the early 1980s to 2005 he was known to be a die-hard anti-congressman. But soon the equation shifted followed by his ouster from JDS led-by former Prime Minister Deve Gowda.
Siddaramaiah was sacked as Deputy Chief Minister and dropped from the Cabinet on 22 July 1999. Following the split in the Janata Dal, he joined the Janata Dal (Secular) faction and became the president of its state unit. However, he lost in the 1999 state elections.
Siddaramaiah again came back to the chair of Deputy Chief Minister in 2004 when the Indian National Congress and JD(S) joined hands to form a coalition government with Dharam Singh as Chief Minister.
His nexus with JDS ended in 2005 after differences with H. D. Deve Gowda. He was expelled from the party.
Following this major setback in his political career, he wanted to form a regional party in Karnataka, but he refrained from doing so considering as none of the regional parties survived in the state before.
He subsequently ended up garnering mass support from the backward classes and joined the Congress party and won the Chamundeshwari bypolls held in December 2006. In the 2008 state Assembly elections, he contested from Varuna Constituency and was re-elected for the fifth time.
From the same constituency, he won the 2013 election and was re-elected for the 7th time. He was elected as the leader of the Congress legislative party in the Karnataka assembly on 10 May 2013.
Leading the Indian National Congress to victory by achieving an absolute majority of 122/224 seats in the 2013 Karnataka Assembly election, Siddaramaiah became the Chief Minister of Karnataka in 2013.
On 15 May 2018, he resigned from his position of the Chief minister of Karnataka after the 2018 Karnataka Legislative Assembly election.
Besides holding the record of presenting state budget 13 times as a finance minister in Government of Karnataka, he also was the first chief minister of Karnataka to serve full 5 years term in 40 years, and the second in the history of the southern state after Devaraj Urs.