Bengaluru, April 24 (IANS) Karnataka's Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday filed his nomination from Badami segment in Bagalkot district against BJP's tribal leader B. Sreeramulu for the May 12 Assembly elections.
Both Siddaramaiah and Sreeramulu have also filed their nominations from Chamundeshwari in Mysuru and Molakamuru (ST) in Chitradurga district on April 20 and 21 respectively.
Siddaramaiah, 69, is the only candidate of the ruling Congress to contest two seats, in the state's south and north.
High drama prevailed in the historic town of Badami as Siddaramaiah, sporting a yellow turban, drove to the election office ahead of a huge procession, and witnessed by hundreds of people from across the backward district.
State party leaders S.R. Patil and C.M. Ibrahim were present on the occasion.
Tuesday was the last date for filing of nominations for the 224 seats. Scrutiny will be on Wednesday and the last date for withdrawals is April 27.
Sreeramulu was the first to file his papers before the district's Returning Officer, in the presence of BJP's chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa, party's state incharge Prakash Javadekar and party leaders Jagadish Shettar and Muralidhar Rao.
Sreeramulu, 47, is a Lok Sabha member from Ballari (Reserved-Scheduled Tribe) in the state's northwest.
Siddaramaiah is betting high on the support of his Kuruba (shepard) community with about 46,000 voters in the Assembly segment. Sreeramulu is counting on about 36,000 Valmiki (hunters) voters, as well as Lingayats who number about 55,000.
Siddaramaiah told reporters later that he was not bothered about his rivals.
"I am least bothered about who will contest against me here (Badami) -- whether it is Sreeramulu or Yeddyurappa. I have faith in the voters, they will not leave me," said an unfazed Siddaramaiah.
The BJP, however, claimed that Siddaramaiah was contesting from Badami also as he feared defeat in Chamundeshwari where Janatal Dal-Secular (JD-S) sitting legislator G. T. Deve Gowda is again in the fray.
Bhubaneswar, April 24 (IANS) Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday requested Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to set up an airport in Odisha's industrial town Paradip.
In a letter, Pradhan sought the personal attention of Prabhu to examine the techno-economic feasibility for setting an airport at Paradip as soon as possible.
"The grand vision of development of Paradip would remain incomplete without an airport providing air connectivity, as the nearest Biju Patnaik International Airport at Bhubaneswar is 135 kms away and takes more than three hours by road," he said , adding that the Paradip Port Trust has already requested the Airport Authority of India to set up an airport there.
Paradip is one of the major ports in eastern India and last year became one of the three ports in India to have handled a total cargo of over 100 million tons.
The port is being further expanded and modernized and it is expected that by 2020 it would be able to handle 332 million tons of cargo per annum thereby making it the largest port in India, said Pradhan.
He said the Union government has declared Paradip Port as a Smart Port Industrial City, which is fast emerging as a major industrial hub in Odisha and Eastern India.
Besides having the port, Paradip already has an oil refinery of 15 MMTPA capacity, a 12 MMTPA pellet plant, two fertilizer plants together of 4 MMTPA capacity and a edible oil refinery, he said.
In addition, Pradhan said that his Ministry is implementing several big ticket industrial projects, including expansion of refinery to 21 MMTPA from 15 MMTPA, a 700 TMT Poly Propylene plant by 2018 and a 355 TMT Mono Ethyl Glycol unit by 2023-24 which will feed various downstream industries including plastics, paints, rubber and synthetic yarn industries, and all these initiatives "require seamless connectivity".