Who Will Take On Siddaramaiah In Karnataka? BS Yediyurappa Drops Big Hint

BS Yediyurappa is now in a firefighting mode amid protests over reservation issues with the polls just over a month away.

BS Yediyurappa said Congress will not cross more than 70 seats. (File)


Former chief minister BS Yediyurappa, who is spearheading the BJP's election campaign in Karnataka, today hinted that his son may contest against Congress veteran Siddaramaiah.

Siddaramaiah, also a former chief minister, has been fielded from the Varuna seat in Mysuru, currently represented by his son Yathindra.

High-level discussions are on to decide if BY Vijayendra will be fielded from Varuna, said Mr Yediyurappa, who is now in a firefighting mode amid protests over reservation issues with the polls just over a month away.

His remarks came at an emergency press conference in Bengaluru, a day after the Election Commission declared that the state polls will be held on May 10.

"The reservation quota for Lingayats and other communities justified. No injustice has been done to the Muslims as well. Now they will get reservation in the Economically Weaker Sections," said the BJP leader.

The Congress will not cross more than 70 seats in the 224-seat assembly, he asserted.

Mr Yediyurappa faced protests earlier this week after the Basavaraj Bommai government recommended to the centre a new breakup of reservation. Hundreds of protesters from the Banjara and other backward communities threw stones at his house in Shivamogga.

Last week, the state cabinet also hiked reservations in education and jobs for the Schedule Caste community from 15% to 17% and introduced internal quotas.

According to the state's recommendation, 6 per cent has been earmarked for SC (left), 5.5 per cent for SC (right), 4.5 per cent for communities such as Banjaras and Bhovis, and one per cent for others. Among the SCs, followers of Babu Jagjivan Ram are categorised as 'right' and those following BR Ambedkar are in the 'left' category.

Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) too exuded confidence of winning the elections.

State Congress chief DK Shivakumar asserted his party will win 150 seats. "There has been no defection from the Congress. Besides, 37 JD(S) leaders and three BJP legislators have joined the party," he said, claiming that the BJP is running the government in coalition with the Congress and JD(S).

HD Kumaraswamy, the JD(S) leader who was the Chief Minister in the coalition government with the Congress until its collapsed due to multiple defections, ruled out any alliance and set a target of winning 123 seats.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Raju Naik joined the JD(S) today.