"NDA Will Not Cross Even 220 Lok Sabha Seats": Siddaramaiah To NDTV

The Karnataka chief minister said not declaring a prime ministerial candidate has not put the INDIA bloc at a disadvantage.

Of Karnataka's 28 seats, 14 will go to the polls on Friday.


Two days before half of the state's 28 constituencies vote in the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has claimed that, contrary to its aim of winning 400 seats, the BJP-led NDA will not cross even 220 and at least part of the reason for this will be that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not fulfilled his promises.

Speaking exclusively to NDTV on Tuesday, the Congress leader also said that the alliance between the BJP and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda's Janata Dal (Secular) is an "unholy one".

Responding to a question on people claiming that Siddaramaiah's personality is important in an Assembly election but PM Modi's image may have an edge in the Lok Sabha polls, the chief minister said, "What is the image that he (the PM) has? When he has failed to fulfil the promises he has made to the people of the country, how will the same image continue? I don't think there is a Modi wave in the entire country, and particularly in Karnataka."

On how he saw the Congress' prospects in his home turf of Old Mysuru, which had given the party the lone seat it had won in Karnataka in the 2019 elections - against the BJP's 25 - Mr Siddaramaiah said the situation was different at the time because emotional issues were projected. In these elections, he said, the PM has to list his achievements in his 10-year tenure, and also predicted that the Congress will win 20 constituencies in Karnataka.

Asserting that the INDIA bloc is not at a disadvantage despite not declaring a prime ministerial candidate, the Congress leader also said there is no threat to the stability of his government irrespective of the election results. Asked if the Congress would complete its term in the state regardless of who the chief minister would be, he answered in the affirmative and also expressed hope that the party would get another term.

"Instability will come only when the people are unhappy. Stability does not mean a government continuing for 10 years. People should also be socially, politically and economically empowered, only then can we say that the country is stable," he said.

Claiming that the alliance between the JD(S) and the BJP was an "unholy" one, the chief minister indicated that it was a result of the desperation of Mr Deve Gowda - whose party won only 19 of 224 seats in last year's Assembly polls - given that he had earlier criticised PM Modi on several issues, including communalism.

"People will never forget what HD Deve Gowda has said about PM Modi and they know why the parties have forged an alliance," Mr Siddaramaiah said.