Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, fighting a tough battle to retain power in the state where no party has been re-elected for a second straight term in 33 years, described his chief rival, BS Yeddyurappa, as "mentally disturbed" for predicting a BJP victory.
- "He is mentally disturbed": Siddaramaiah on Yeddyurappa's "post-win sked"
- Mr Yeddyurappa, after casting vote, declared "date" for his swearing-in
- Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the Congress will get clear majority
He also said there was "no doubt" that the Congress would return to power with over 120 seats in the 224-member Karnataka assembly when the results were declared on Tuesday.
Asked by reporters to react to Mr Yeddyurappa declaring he would be sworn in on May 17, Mr Siddaramaiah quipped: "He is mentally disturbed."
Earlier in the day, Mr Yeddyurappa, the presumptive chief minister of the BJP, declared, "I will fly to Delhi on the 15th once the results are announced and meet Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi. I will invite him and others for the swearing in ceremony which is going to happen most likely on the 17th."
Was this overconfidence, reporters asked Mr Siddaramaiah. "It is a strategy. He (Yeddyurappa) thinks this is a strategy, but in reality he is a mentally disturbed man," he said.
"The BJP can say what they like. The Congress party will get a clear majority, there is no doubt about that, there is no confusion about that. We will form the government again. We are very confident of a win," said the chief minister.
Opinion polls have not backed any winner but mostly predict a close fight between the Congress and the BJP, with the Janata Dal Secular hoping to win enough seats to matter in the event of a hung verdict.
Mr Yeddyurappa projected that his party would win between 145 and 150 seats.