Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Wednesday firmly shot down the possibility of having to team up with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) to take on the BJP after elections in May, proclaiming that his party will win a two-thirds majority in the 224-seat assembly.
Speaking to NDTV hours after the Election Commission announced the dates for the polls, Mr Shivakumar ruled out the possibility of a hung assembly and a coalition with the JD-S, which is seen as a potential kingmaker in case of a fractured mandate.
"We do not want any alliance with any political party. I am very confident we will have a two-thirds majority. We will have double the number of seats of the BJP," he said.
Mr Shivakumar said that the Congress has a strong base in Karnataka and has worked for the welfare of all sections of society. He claimed that the people of Karnataka are fed up with the BJP government led by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, which he alleged has failed to deliver on its promises and has been involved in corruption and scams.
"The people have decided they want a new government that governs, they want change, they want to root out corruption, they want a global Karnataka, they want a better Bengaluru. Four years of double-engine government has failed. There will be a new engine which will work for the prosperity of Karnataka," he said.
He slammed the BJP for running a campaign on communal polarisation, saying, "It is the BJP agenda. BJP is on the communal agenda. They have kept only 50 of the 600 promises they made. We are for the progress, prosperity and development agenda."
Mr Shivakumar, who is contesting from his traditional seat of Kanakapura, has said that he is confident of winning with a huge margin. Commenting on speculation that former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah may contest from Kolar as his second constituency, he said that the Congress veteran has applied only for one seat and the decision on the second seat will be taken by the party's election committee.
Known as a troubleshooter and a loyalist of the Gandhi family, Mr Shivakumar also dismissed the possibility of defections in the party. "We have looked into it in detail. They are all loyal Congressmen, they will stand like a rock," he said.
Karnataka will vote on May 10, with results on May 13.