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I Will be 'King', Not 'Kingmaker' in Karnataka Elections, Says JDS' Kumaraswamy

Pre-poll surveys on the elections to the 225-member Karnataka House, that includes one nominated member, have projected a hung assembly with the JD(S) emerging as kingmaker. Kumaraswamy said his target was 113 seats.

PTI

Updated:April 29, 2018, 10:48 PM IST
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I Will be 'King', Not 'Kingmaker' in Karnataka Elections, Says JDS' Kumaraswamy
Former Chief Minister & JD(S) State President HD Kumaraswamy poses for a photograph as he sits on the driver seat of an auto in Bengaluru. (PTI Photo)
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Bengaluru: JD(S) state President H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday said he would not be a "kingmaker" and instead people of the state would bless him as "king" in the May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls, which he conceded was a "battle for survival" for his party.

Expressing confidence about the JD(S) coming to power on its own, the former chief minister said, he is asking people to give the party a "chance", having seen the performance of both the BJP and the Congress.

"I'm completely confident about bringing in a government with majority, I don't have an iota of doubt," Kumaraswamy said.

Pre-poll surveys on the elections to the 225-member Karnataka House, that includes one nominated member, have projected a hung assembly with the JD(S) emerging as kingmaker. Kumaraswamy said his target was 113 seats.

"I'm targeting 113, I have made preparations strategically, required to reach 113. So in my opinion ultimately I will succeed in reaching my goal. People will make me succeed, I have this confidence," he said.

To a query, Kumaraswamy said, as per his current calculations, the JD(S) would comfortably reach the 97-105 mark and it is now working towards making up the remaining seats.

"I'm confident that we will not fall short... according to my calculation 97-105 comfortably I'm going to reach this time, another 7-8 seats I may fall short. For that I'm working out and I'm sure we will make it up," he said.

Asked if he would not need support of other parties to make up for the numbers, he replied in the negative. Ruling out any prospect of a hung assembly, he said, "It (situation) is not going to arise, I'm confident."

Dismissing pre-poll surveys which predicted a hung assembly and projected the JD(S) as "kingmaker", he said only after polls can such surveys have some clarity and "not at this stage."

"Not kingmaker, people will bless me as a king, that full confidence is there," he said, as he claimed that there is an "undercurrent" in favour of the JD(S) across the state and people have "lost faith" in the BJP and Congress.Kumaraswamy said he is asking people for a "chance" for good governance, to address their problems or issues.

"You have given chance to both Congress and BJP, you have seen their work, and you have experienced it. Give me one chance; I'm going with this message," he added.

Conceding that the coming assembly elections were a "battle for survival" for the JD(S), Kumaraswamy said, it is because for the last 10 years "we have been out of power."He said, "all our workers are working very hard even without power. This time they want us to somehow reach the goal, for that they are sincerely working. Even I'm also working very hard to come back to power."

"We want to come to power not for our selfishness. There are several problems created by BJP and Congress in last ten years, I want to clean it. For that Karnataka very badly needs good governance...," he added.

Responding to Congress President Rahul Gandhi's allegation that JD(S) is the "B team" of the BJP, Kumaraswamy said in his opinion Siddaramaiah is BJP's 'B' team. He said, "Congress is saying we are the 'B' team of BJP, as they don't have anything to point fingers at me, they don't have issues to comment against my party."

"They have one issue that I had once joined hands with the BJP to form the government, keeping that issue alive they are saying to people that if you vote for Kumaraswamy it is like voting BJP, so don't vote for Kumaraswamy," he added. The 2004 assembly polls had thrown up a fractured verdict with the BJP emerging as the single largest party.

Congress, which lost power, and JD(S) had formed a coalition government led by Dharam Singh.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition, however, crumbled when Kumaraswamy led a revolt, withdrew support and joined hands with the BJP. He was the state chief minister heading a JD(S)-BJP coalition from February 2006 to October 2007 with B S Yeddyurappa as deputy chief minister.

The coalition with BJP also collapsed after JD(S) refused to hand over the mantle to Yeddyurappa after 20 months under a power-sharing arrangement, that led to elections with BJP installing its first-ever government in the south in 2008. He pointed out that when BJP was in power it was he and not the Congress, who brought out several cases of corruption against them.

The former chief minister further said in his opinion Siddaramaiah is BJP's 'B' team, as he had repeatedly entered into an understanding with the BJP to safeguard his seat. He said, "Earlier in 2013 in Varuna constituency, the BJP candidate absconded for five days ahead of the election, people say Siddaramaiah had booked him and reached an understanding with the BJP. This time before the filing of nominations, BJP changed its candidate."

"Who is behind it? Siddaramaiah even today is in contact with the BJP, there is unofficial contact even now, but they point fingers at JD(S)," he charged.

Siddaramaiah, who has been representing Varuna constituency since 2008, has this time opted for neighboring Chamundeshwari constituency. His son Dr Yatindra is the party's candidate from Varuna in this election.
| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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