A day before the results of the closely watched Karnataka state election are announced, state Congress chief DK Shivakumar said he was confident that his party would win the election on its own and dismissed speculation that it could be bested by a potential alliance between the BJP and the Janata Dal-Secular or JD-S.
Mr Shivakumar, who is seen as a possible chief minister candidate, told NDTV on Friday that he was sticking to the party’s prediction of winning about 150 seats in the 224-member assembly, well above the majority mark of 113.
“I will not change my expectations. I will not change my numbers. The Congress party will come to power. We had a big strength of leaders. Our national leaders came down and did their best. We also had Siddaramaiah and various leaders have travelled the length and breadth of Karnataka. We will have good numbers,” he said.
He also denied that there were any talks between his party and the JD-S, which is expected to play a kingmaker role in case of a hung assembly.
He said that the Congress would form the government on its own and that he did not want to comment on the BJP’s, attempts to woo the JD-S.
“No talks between the JD-S and BJP. We will form the government on our own. Let them talk. I don’t want to comment on their talk,” he said.
The Congress leader dodged a question on whether the party will pick him or Siddaramaiah for Chief Minister. “Both my former Congress presidents, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, will decide,” he said.
The BJP, which governs Karnataka and is hoping to prevent a Congress takeover of its only bastion in South India, has also claimed that it would win a clear majority and has ruled out any alliance with the JD-S.
The BJP’s tallest leader in the state, former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, has said that he was confident of getting more than 115 seats. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai also said he was confident of scoring a “comfortable majority”.
The JD-S, led by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy, has maintained that it would wait for the final results before deciding on its future course of action.