Karnataka election 2018: Siddaramaiah's remark has triggered speculation that Congress in case of a hung verdict, may play the Dalit card to join the ranks with the JD(S) to form a coalition government in the state.
With exit polls predicting a hung assembly in Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that he was ready to vacate the CM’s chair if asked by the party leadership to replace him with a Dalit. Siddaramaiah said that he has ‘no issues’ if the Congress high command says that a Dalit should be made the CM if the party comes in a situation to form a government for the second consecutive term in the southern state.
“I have no issues. If the high command says they want to appoint a Dalit as CM, I will say go ahead. I am not opposed to anybody,’’ The Indian Express quoted him as saying when asked if the Congress favoured the appointment of a Dalit CM keeping the next year’s general elections in the mind.
The outgoing CM also said that in last five years, all the MLAs of the Congress party have cooperated. He said that the MLAs will also have to give their opinion, adding, “You cannot force it also. The MLAs have to give their opinion and the high command has to also clear it. You cannot run the government by force.”
Most exit polls have predicted a hung assembly in Karnataka this time. Six out of eight exit polls have predicted that the BJP will get more number of seats than other parties while two indicated that the Congress will finish close to the magic figure. They said that the JD(S) could emerge as the kingmaker.
Siddaramaiah’s remark has triggered speculation that Congress in case of a hung verdict, may play the Dalit card to join the ranks with the JD(S) to form a coalition government in the state.
Polling on 222 of 224 constituencies was held on Saturday. According to the Election Commission, the state recorded voter turnout of 72.13% – the highest-ever since 1952. The results will be announced on Tuesday.
Siddaramaiah also trashed the exit polls and expressed confidence that the Congress will retain power. “We will get a clear majority and form the government,” he said. He further said that he has had ‘enough of poll politics’ and that he will not take part in elections. The 69-year-old politician, however, said that he will remain in politics.