A day after Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that he was ready to sacrifice his post to give the state a Dalit CM, veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday blamed the media for blowing the issue out of proportion. He further said that a decision on who would be the next chief minister of Karnataka would be taken by the Congress high command if the party wins the Assembly elections.
“This issue has been created in media to create differences between us. We are clear that high command will decide on it. It's just a matter of 12 hours,” said Kharge.
Siddaramaiah had on Sunday said that he would 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.
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.
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.