Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, who has decided to contest the upcoming assembly election in Karnataka from Kolar segment, asserted today that he will surely win even if Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were to campaign against him.
The former Chief Minister has decided to shift his constituency from Badami in Bagalkote district in North Karnataka to Kolar citing age factor and the distance.
"Let (BJP national general secretary) BL Santhosh come, BJP national president J P Nadda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Union Home Minister Amit Shah and campaign against me. I will surely win from Kolar," he told reporters.
Siddaramaiah was reacting to a query that a negative campaign has begun ever since he expressed his desire to contest from Kolar in the assembly poll, which is just four months away. There were reports that handbills are being distributed in the district against Siddaramaiah.
The Congress veteran added that the same was tried in Badami from where he contested in the 2018 assembly election and he won despite the campaign by Amit Shah and other senior BJP leaders.
Siddaramaiah had contested the 2018 assembly election from two assembly seats - Chamundeshwari and Badami.
While he lost the Chamundeshwari seat with a huge victory margin of over 36,000 votes against the JD(S) candidate G T Deve Gowda, Badami was his face saver though he won with a narrow victory margin of about 1,700 votes against BJP's B Sriramulu.
The former CM clarified that he was not contesting from Badami because it was too far away and age was a factor keeping him from contest the elections there.
"People of Badami want me there and are ready to even sponsor a helicopter but due to age related issues and distance, I have decided to fight election from Kolar," he said.
Asked about the Prime Minister lauding the Karnataka government, he claimed PM Modi was "lying".
"Is it not a fact that people made money in the police sub-inspector recruitment scam? Why is the additional director general of police Amrit Paul in jail?" Siddaramaiah asked.
He also alleged that the 'notorious criminal Santro Ravi' was being protected by the government.
"Santro Ravi is being protected. He is a notorious criminal, who is charged with rape. He was into transfer business and Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO). Why he was not taken yet on police custody?" Siddaramaiah said.
The Congress stalwart exuded confidence that his party will come to power with absolute majority by winning 140 to 150 seats in the next assembly election.
He pinned hopes on the Congress' promise of 200 unit free electricity to every household and Rs 2,000 per month to women who head the family.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)