Siddaramaiah says he is 'okay' if a Dalit becomes Karnataka CM

Oscar Cross
May 14, 2018

Asserting that a nation can not be "built on divides", Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said India was not safe in the hands of the BJP government. Five exit polls have given the spot to the BJP, four to the Congress.

Reacting to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's views on Dalit CM issue, Member of Parliament Mallikarjuna Kharge has said he is ready to accept the post as a senior congressman and not as a Dalit leader.

According to Jan Ki Baat-Republic TV prediction, BJP's tally has been shown between 95 and 114 and Congress share 73 to 82. It remains to be seen whether the Congress' gamble of according religious minority status to Lingayat-Veerashaivas pays off; an umbrella organisation of Lingayat mutts has urged its followers to vote for the Congress. "The JD-S will manage 25 seats and Independents will win 3-4 seats".

On his part, Mr Deve Gowda has expressed unwillingness to ally with the BJP or the Congress to form government in Karnataka if need be.

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. BJP is winning with an absolute majority the Karnataka elections.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said on Sunday he would not have a problem if the Congress decides to make a Dalit the state's next chief minister. With exit polls projecting HD Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (Secular), which contested Karnataka polls in alliance with BSP, as the kingmaker, SP is keeping a close watch on the developments.

The Congress had banked heavily on the charishma on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and also fielded him in two constituencies.

This might be an indication of the negotiations which might have already started in the Congress to counter any move by the BJP to form the Government.

The other two chief ministerial candidates B.S. Yeddyurappa and H.D. Kumaraswamy from the BJP and JDS respectively, too claimed they would win the elections.

However, according to BJP leaders the whirlwind campaign by PM Mr Modi and party chief Mr Shah as also a large number of them by Mr Yeddyurappa is expected to fetch dividends.

A single-phase polling was held in 222 constituencies out of the 224 elected seats in the Assembly, including 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes (ST).

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