Karnataka polls: I'm fine if party decides on Dalit CM, says Siddaramaiah

File photo of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah | Photo: PTI
A day after the Karnataka Assembly polls, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday asserted that the Congress would retain power in the southern state and said this was his last election.

Speaking to reporters in Chamundeshwari constituency, one of the two seats from where he contested in the high-stakes polls, along with Badami in north Karnataka, the Congress leader said, “This will be my last election.” To a question on the possibility of a Dalit chief minister, he said, “It is fine if the party decides to have a Dalit chief minister.” Siddaramaiah exuded confidence that the Congress would get an absolute majority in Karnataka and ruled out any possibility of a tie-up with the JD(S), led by former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.

Brushing aside the exit polls, most of which have predicted a fractured verdict with some pointing towards a possible defeat for the Congress, the chief minister tweeted the following: 

Exit opinion polls are entertainment for the next 2 days

Relying on poll of polls is like a person who can’t swim crossing a river on foot relying on a statistician who told him the average depth of the river is 4 feet

Please note average of 6+4+2 is 4. At 6 feet you drown! 1/2

Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) 13 May 2018
Siddaramaiah further tweeted: 

So, Dear party workers, supporters & well wishers, don’t worry about exit polls. Relax & enjoy your weekend.

We are coming back. 2/2

— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) 13 May 2018

Polling in the southern state was held on Saturday and the results will be declared on Tuesday.

Over 70 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the high-stakes election. 

Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah asserted the party would form the next government in Karnataka.

“The BJP will form the government in Karnataka on May 15 evening after the results,” Shah said while addressing a gathering of around 15,000 BJP workers at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium near Panaji.

Most of the post-poll surveys have predicted the BJP to emerge as the single largest party in Karnataka, with the JD(S) of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda likely to emerge as the kingmaker.

Polling was held yesterday in 222 constituencies in Karnataka, currently ruled by the Congress.

Any party or alliance will need the support of 112 MLAs to form the new government.

Shah who spoke on various issues, recalled the cross-border surgical strike launched by Indian forces on terrorist launch pads in 2016.

He said after US and Israel, the country is now known to avenge the killings of its soldiers During the meeting on Sunday, a video message of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is undergoing treatment in the USA since March this year, was also played.

In the message, Parrikar announced that he would return to his home state within the next few weeks.

Recalling Parrikar’s tenure as defence minister, Shah described him as a “hardworking person with a grip on the administration”.

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