In what it looks like the Congress party’s acceptance to the possible fractured mandate in Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that he was ready to sacrifice CM’s post for a Dalit.
“I am ready to sacrifice chief minister’s post for a Dalit,” ANI cited Tv9 Kannada quoting Siddaramaiah as saying.
Siddaramaiah’s statement was seen as a significant sign that the Congress party was considering alliance talks with the JD(S) in case of a hung Assembly as predicted by the exit polls.
As soon as polling for 222 of the 224-member Karnataka Assembly concluded on Saturday, different media organisations and poll observers started to predict possible scenarios about the results.
Most exit polls predicted a hung assembly in Karnataka with the BJP’s emerging as the single largest party with 99 seats and the Congress close second with 84 seats. The post-poll surveys claimed that the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) will be the ‘kingmaker’ with nearly 40 seats.
It was highly unlikely for the JD(S) to tie-up with the BJP as it had a “bitter experience” forming a government with the saffron party in 2008 and the alliance ended on a bad note.
Although the Congress and the JD(S) had shared the dais before and similar to the BJP, the alliance with the grand old party was also not successful, there were chances that both parties could once again come together to form a ‘secular’ government.
Earlier, there were media reports that if the Congress failed to secure a majority in Karnataka Assembly elections, the JD(S) could support the party.
While speaking to a private news channel, JDS spokesman Danish Ali squashed speculation of supporting the BJP and said that it was the Congress’ “responsibility” to reach out.
Meanwhile, the JD(S) chief and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, keeping his cards close to the chest, said that he was not yet “prepared” to “accept or reject” anything and asked people to wait for the results day.
Gowda and Siddaramaiah share a bitter relationship. Siddaramaiah, who was once a key JD(S) leader, was sacked by the former prime minister in 2005.
He later joined Congress and became the chief minister of the southern state.
There were speculations that Gowda could support the Congress and in return ask for a chief minister of his own choice, therefore, Siddaramaiah’s statement was seen as a significant move by the Congress before election results.