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'People of Karnataka are fed up with BJP, they want change'

April 15, 2013 14:15 IST

Congress leader Siddaramaiah is considered to be a major crowd puller in the Karnataka election campaign.

The former Janata Dal-Secular leader is widely considered to be the Congress’s chief ministerial candidate.

In an interview with rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa, Siddaramaiah admitted his aspirations for the top post but was quick to add that he will abide by the high command’s instructions.

The Congress has been criticised for not naming a chief ministerial candidate so far…

The Congress does not have the tradition of naming anyone as the chief ministerial candidate. I agree with this concept as the battle needs to be fought on a united front. The final decision lies with the party high command.

Are you an aspirant for the top post?

Yes I am, but the high command will take the final call.

Many say that with the BJP in a state of crisis, JD-S is the party to watch out for...

I have said this before and would like to say it again. The JD-S should not expect more than 30 seats. They have their bases only in Tumkur, Hassan, Ramanagaram, Mandya and Mysore.

Is there a chance of the Congress losing out due to the votes being divided between the newly-launched Karnataka Janatha Party and the BSR Congress?

No, that will not happen. People will not vote for either of these parties. The leaders of both parties face corruption charges.

The Congress does not seem to have its house in order today. There is so much dissent after the release of the list of candidates. There have been allegations of election tickets being purchased…

Rebellion and dissent are all part of an election process. Some are bound to be disgruntled and upset. There are so many aspirants as everyone knows that the Congress is going to win the election.

All this dissent will die down. The Congress is a united party and you will see that. Those who are making allegations about tickets being purchased are the ones who have not got the tickets. They are spreading lies but the people should not believe them.

What about your chances of winning?

I am confident about a victory and have faith in the people of my constituency. The last time they voted for me with a margin of nearly 19,000 votes. This time the tally will be much better than the earlier elections. I am very confident about that.

What makes the Congress so confident that it is going to win?

It is simple. The people of the state are fed up of the BJP and want change desperately. The BJP has probably provided the worst government the state has ever seen. Corruption and infighting have dominated the last five years of BJP’s rule. Why will the people want to vote for such a party? The people will surely choose the Congress as it is capable of delivering the goods.

Read the complete coverage of the Karnataka election

Vicky Nanjappa