Ahead Of Karnataka Result, Deep Cut For Siddaramaiah - From His Own Party

Karnataka election: "There are at least half a dozen chief ministerial candidates in our party," said G Parameshwara, a senior Congress leader from Karnataka

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Ahead Of Karnataka Result, Deep Cut For Siddaramaiah - From His Own Party

Karnataka election: Siddaramaiah has said he is amenable to a Dalit leader to replace him


Bengaluru: 

Highlights

  1. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah could be replaced, indicates Congress
  2. Am in the running too, confirms state chief of Congress to NDTV
  3. Exit polls disagree on whether BJP or Congress will win most seats
Hours before the results for his election were declared, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah got hints of a possible termination notice - from within his own party.

"There are at least half a dozen chief ministerial candidates in our party," said G Parameshwara, a senior Congress leader from Karnataka, cheerfully confirming his own spot in the league of would-be's. "Of course, since the last election, I have been portrayed as an alternative or one of the chief ministerial candidates... let me also take a chance," the politician, who heads the Congress in the southern state, said.

Karnataka voted on Saturday for 222 of 224 seats. Results are bring counted today. Mr Siddaramaiah, 69, was, atypically for the Congress, given a free hand in shaping both the campaign for re-election and in deciding candidates.

Exit polls have been mystifying, throwing up sharply contrasting results for whether it will be the BJP or Congress who will score the maximum seats. One television channel ran two different exit polls that contradicted each other on the winner.
 
g parameshwara

Senior Congress leader from Karnataka G Parameshwara said he has been portrayed as an alternative or one of the chief ministerial candidates.

The Janata Dal Secular or JDS, the party led by former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, could decide the future of Mr Siddaramaiah, who acrimoniously exited the party in 2005 to join the Congress.

Most polls show the JDS getting about 30 seats - which would make it the decision-maker if no party gets a clear majority.

On Sunday, the JDS said that it would be up to the Congress to make the first move. A senior leader from the Congress in Delhi who asked not to be named told NDTV on Monday that Mr Siddaramaiah "will not come in the way of government formation". The message is not cryptic -- that if the JDS is in a position to call the shots and insists on the chief minister being replaced, the Congress will abandon Mr Siddaramaiah for a candidate acceptable to Mr Gowda.

However, the senior leader said, the JDS must be "reasonable" in what it demands -- for example, he said, it can at best seek the post of deputy chief minister. Mr Gowda's son, HD Kumaraswamy, has served in the past as head of Karnataka and depending on how many seats the party gets, the JDS could ask for him to be installed as chief minister of an alliance.
 
kumaraswamy

JDS leader Deve Gowda's son, HD Kumaraswamy, has served in the past as head of Karnataka and depending on how many seats the party gets, the JDS could ask for him to be installed as chief minister of an alliance.

Perhaps sensing his growing battle, Mr Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that he is amenable to a Dalit from the Congress replacing him as chief minister. Mr Parameshwara fits the bill; so does former union minister Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also a Congressman of some standing from the southern state.

The operating space granted to Mr Siddaramaiah by the Congress's infamous "high command" -- its Delhi leadership led by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi -- may have enabled a smart and hard-hitting campaign that emphasised regional identity and culture as well as the alleged impugning of federalism by the Modi government, but it is this same autonomy that earned him many enemies within his own party.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who campaigned heavily in Karnataka for the BJP, has predicted the Congress will be reduced to "PPP" after tomorrow -- "Puducherry, Punjab, Parivaar" -- meaning that it would have as its declared assets only the two states that it still governs along with its first family.


Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.

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