Karnataka Assembly elections 2018: If Congress leadership wishes, ready to step aside for a Dalit CM, says Siddaramaiah

Polling was held on Saturday in Karnataka on 222 constituencies.

Karnataka Assembly elections 2018: If Congress leadership wishes, ready to step aside for a Dalit CM, says Siddaramaiah
Pic courtesy: Twitter/@siddaramaiah (File photo)

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that he will step aside for a Dalit CM if the Congress leadership wishes. He also asserted that the Congress would retain power in the southern state and that said this was his last election.

Speaking to reporters in Chamundeshwari constituency, one of the two seats from where he contested 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 CM, 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 PM HD Deve Gowda.

Brushing aside the exit polls, he tweeted, "Exit opinion polls are entertainment for the next two days. Relying on the 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 the average of 6+4+2 is 4. At 6 feet you drown." "So, dear party workers, supporters and well-wishers, don't worry about exit polls. Relax and enjoy your weekend. We are coming back," he said in another tweet.

Indicating a tight race between the BJP and the Congress, most exit polls for the Karnataka Assembly elections have forecasted a hung Assembly but gave the saffron party an edge with a possibility of the JD(S) emerging as the kingmaker. 

Polling was held on Saturday in 222 constituencies following the countermanding of election for the Jayanagara seat due to the death of BJP candidate BN Vijaykumar and deferment of voting for RR Nagar seat after a massive row erupted over a large number of voter ID cards being found in a Bengaluru apartment.

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

Both the BJP and the Congress ran a high-decibel campaign in the state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the saffron charge with 21 rallies while Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah led their bid to ensure that it defies anti-incumbency to retain power. BS Yeddyurappa is BJP's chief ministerial candidate. 

(With PTI inputs)