A day after polling in the Karnataka assembly elections, chief minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday asserted that he has no problem if the Congress high command decides to choose a Dalit leader for the state’s top post.
While BJP’s CM candidate, BS Yeddyurappa, announced that he would leave for New Delhi on Tuesday to consult PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah at the time for his swearing-in on Wednesday, Karnataka, chief minister Siddaramaiah created ripples by stating that he was ready to step aside if the party leadership wished to replace him with a Dalit.
To a question on the possibility of a Dalit chief minister, he said, “It is fine if the party decides to have a Dalit chief minister.” But, he made it clear, no one could forcibly take the decision and he was quick to add that he was popular among MLAs, whose opinion will have weight in the final decision.
Siddaramaiah’s statement triggered speculation that Congress is anticipating a fractured verdict and is playing the Dalit card to negotiate a post-poll tie-up with the JD(S). Siddaramaiah, however, clarified that elected MLAs and the party high command should decide on choosing a Dalit CM.
Meanwhile, BJP’s Sadananda Gowda took a dig at Siddaramaiah’s Dalit CM remark, saying that his stance had now shifted due to his fear of losing the polls.