Incumbent Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has revealed that this will be the last election he will contest and that he will willingly step aside to let a Dalit candidate become the CM if the Congress party demands it from him.
Addressing reporters and news channels in the Chamundeshwari constituency of Mysuru district, Siddaramaiah said he will not contest any election in the future even if Lord Brahma asks him to, but he will continue to fight for social justice till his last breath.
The senior Congress leader also ruled out ambitions of moving to New Delhi and being active in national politics. He said he is happy in Karnataka and will restrict himself to the southern state.
When asked whether he will make way for a Dalit chief minister if his party demands so, Siddaramaiah said he will not object to such a proposal. However, the party high command must not impose its decision and must take elected legislators into confidence before coming to a conclusion, he said.
Siddaramaiah also ruled out the need to derive support from Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs in case his party fails to reach the halfway mark. He expressed confidence in winning a single-handed majority and asked his party workers and supporters to ignore exit polls that are backing the BJP.
Siddaramaiah has contested this election from two constituencies, one of which is Chamundeshwari in his home district of Mysuru. While he is expected to win this one easily, he will face a tough fight from his other seat in North Karnataka’s Badami district against BJP’s popular tribal leader Sriramulu.