If Congress Decides To Make A Dalit The CM, I Will Give It Go Ahead, Says Siddaramaiah


New Delhi: Congress chief minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah won’t have any problem if his party decides to make a Dalit chief minister of the state. He said on Sunday he would not have a problem if the Congress decides to make a Dalit the state’s next chief minister. His comments came a day after the state voted for a new assembly, the result of which will be declared on Tuesday, and exit polls predicted a fractured mandate that might propel the Janata Dal (Secular) to play the kingmaker’s role.

“If the high command decides to make a Dalit the chief minister, I will give it the go ahead. But MLAs also have to give opinions,” Siddaramaiah said in Mysuru after telling reporters earlier in the day that “this will be my last election”. Exit polls predicted a hung assembly after Saturday’s vote, triggering speculation Siddaramaiah might have to make way for a new leader if the Congress strikes an alliance with the JD(S) to retain power.

But Siddaramaiah — the first Karnataka chief minister to complete a full term in three decades — dismissed the exit polls, saying these are “entertainment”.

He is confident of the Congress getting a majority. “So, Dear party workers, supporters &well wishers, don’t worry about exit polls. Relax & enjoy your weekend. We are coming back (sic),” he said in a tweet.

The BharatiyaJanata Party’s (BJP) chief-ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, too, dismissed the exit polls and insisted that his party would get 125 to 130 seats — more than the magic number of 113 seats in the 224-member assembly to rule the state.

“The Congress won’t go past 70 seats, with the JD(S) getting 24 to 25. My calculations have never gone wrong,” the former chief minister said in Bengaluru.

Before voting closed on Saturday, Yeddyurappa announced that he was confident of victory and had decided that he would take oath as chief minister on May 17.

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