NDA will not get enough seats to form government at Centre, says Siddaramaiah | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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NDA will not get enough seats to form government at Centre, says Siddaramaiah

PTI | | Posted by Yamini C S
Apr 13, 2024 03:45 PM IST

Siddaramaiah said while the INDIA bloc may not get an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha elections, the NDA will not get enough seats either.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said that while the INDIA bloc may not get an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha elections, the NDA will not get enough seats either to form the government at the Centre.

CM Siddaramaiah. (AFP)
CM Siddaramaiah. (AFP)

Contrary to the hope expressed in the BJP's slogan of 'Abki baar 400-paar', Siddaramaiah predicted that a "government minus BJP" would be formed at the Centre, as there is an "undercurrent" in the country "against" the saffron party.

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“There will be no BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. There is an undercurrent in the nation. There is something called silent voter phenomenon. You will see when the results are out,” Siddaramaiah declared in an exclusive interview to PTI Videos.

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“According to my information, the survey connected with BJP shows that they will cross 200-plus seats. They will not come to power on their own,” the chief minister said.

“Post elections, there will be a re-alignment of political parties. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and other leaders of regional parties in the South will come together to form a government,” he said.

Explaining the reason behind BJP lacking the numbers this time, Siddaramaiah said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not fulfill any poll promises since 2014. Also, unemployment and price rise are the two major issues today, he added.

Speaking about the Congress's poll prospects in Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said the situation is favourable. “As far as Karnataka is concerned, it is favourable to us. We will retain the same vote share as in the last assembly elections. We will win 15 to 20 seats in Karnataka,” the CM said.

On BJP and Janata Dal (Secular) forming an alliance, Siddaramaiah likened former chief minister and JD(S) second-in-command H D Kumaraswamy to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. “Nitish Kumar is opportunistic politician. Same way, Kumaraswamy is also an opportunistic politician. BJP is a communal party and now JD(S) has become communal too,” he said.

Stating that there is no leadership left in the state BJP, Siddaramaiah also predicted that the JD(S) would merge with the BJP in the future. He also claimed that some JD(S) leaders were willing to join the Congress, but he refused to share details.

The BJP and JD(S) forged an alliance in Karnataka last September. The BJP is contesting in 25 LS seats while the JD(S) is fighting in three seats in the state.

The BJP has fielded the son-in-law of JD(S) patriarch and former PM H D Deve Gowda, Dr C N Manjunath, in Bengaluru Rural constituency, against three-time MP D K Suresh, brother of Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar.

Asked about BJP’s allegation that Karnataka is in a poor financial position because the Congress government is trying to implement the five assembly poll guarantees, Siddaramaiah dismissed it, saying the state is well within the parameters of financial discipline.

“Our tax collections have improved and property registration has also got us good revenue as we increased the guidance value,” he explained. "No development work has been stopped. We will fulfill our promises and all the guarantee schemes will continue till the end of term. If we get a mandate again, all schemes will continue."

The chief minister alleged that the BJP-led Centre has deprived Karnataka of its share of tax refunds as it was scared of the Congress model in the state.

“They (BJP) want us to fail. We had to resort to a dharna in Delhi and approach the Supreme Court. 4.3 lakh crore was collected from Karnataka, but only about 50,000 crore was given to us. Is it not injustice?” he asked.

Siddaramaiah alleged that the Centre did not release even a single rupee even as the state faces acute drought.

“The Disaster Management Act clearly put out guidelines and we are well within our rights to claim relief, but they (Centre) have not given us funds. The Supreme Court has directed the central government to settle the matter within 15 days. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is lying about the procedures, which were duly followed by Karnataka,” he alleged.

Siddaramaiah said that the I-T department is targeting the Congress. "The BJP has received thousands of crores of Rupees through electoral bonds and not a single rupee of tax has been paid by them, but the income tax department is targeting Congress, demanding huge taxes," he said.

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“All central agencies are supposed to be independent bodies but they are puppets in the hands of the home department,” he alleged.

Addressing speculation on whether he would have to give up the chief minister's chair to Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah said, “If the high command decides that I should continue, I will continue. Otherwise, I will go by the decision of the high command."

He also reiterated that he will not stay in electoral politics after four years but will remain active in politics.

Siddaramaiah was sworn in as chief minister on May 20, 2023 after the Congress's landslide victory ousting the BJP from power.

There was stiff competition between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar for the CM's post. The Congress convinced Shivakumar to accept the post of deputy chief minister, but some reports said that a compromise was made, according to which Shivakumar would take over as CM after two-and-a-half years. This has not been officially confirmed by the party.

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