The BJP may dream, the JD(S) may scheme, but the Cong will come back to power: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah says the Congress party will ride on the goodwill of 50 million-odd ambassadors of various populist schemes flagged off by his government to shatter the dreams of the BJP, or a scheming JD (S), and return to power with a clear majority in next month's Assembly elections. These "invisible voters" have not been spotted by various surveys that merely point at a hung Assembly, and point at lack of a wave in favour of his government. On whether he will return for another term, the Chief Minister said that the party's high command will take a decision in consultation with the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).  Taking time out from his campaigning in Mysuru to field a number of questions from Deccan Chronicle on the coming assembly polls in the state, the CM was assertive about a Congress victory. He claimed there was a wave in its favour and no anti-incumbency against his goverment , no matter what anyone else might say. The beneficiaries of his many populist schemes were the "invisible voters" no survey had tapped, who were waiting to re-elect his government, he contended. 

There are no corruption charges against you and you have implemented a number of  populist schemes. But why is there still no wave in your favour ?
Who says there isn't ? Even before we finalised our party candidates for this election, you have seen the outcome of almost a dozen surveys.  As you are aware, all have made one point clear –  the Congress will emerge as the single largest party.  This shows that there is a wave in our favour. Now that we have announced the list of our candidates –   the list of our winning horses – I am sure that we will get  a comfortable majority.  

You might say there is wave, but every independent survey says you may get 90 or 100 seats, leading to a hung assembly. Doesn't this show  that you have gone wrong somewhere? 
There may be some fault with your surveys ? (laughs)  I wish to reiterate that there is no anti-incumbency in the state. The 40 million beneficiariesof the Anna Bhagya scheme, the parents of 10 million beneficiaries of the Ksheera Bhagya scheme and almost one million beneficiaries of all other schemes are our ambassadors. They are all the invisible voters, whom the surveys have not consulted and spotted.  

The Kannada flag, the Mahadayi water dispute and the Lingayat religion issue are all emotive. You  thought they could help you. But isn't it possible that  they may not?
Sorry. Congress never fishes in troubled waters.  We don't politicise issues of public interest.

Is it true that some of your colleagues want a hung Assembly so that they can persuade the JD(S) to back a Congress minus Siddaramaiah as candidate for Chief Ministership ?  
I am sure there will be no hung assembly in Karnataka. The Congress will get a clear majority. The BJP may dream, the JD(S) may scheme and some others may scream, but the Congress will surely come back to power. 

But barring you and Congress president , Rahul Gandhi, none of your colleagues are attacking the Janata Dal (Secular). Why ? 
Well, attacking is not our business !!  Whenever they target us we have no option, but to counter them – to let people understand our point of view. You may have observed that most of the time, we have not reacted, but only responded to their attacks. 

Now that the JD(S) has the support of  the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) , it might eat into your votes.   
Their alliances will not have any impact on the Congress party. They cannot divide our votes. Whether it is majority or minority, backward or forward, all are with the Congress.

Who is your biggest rival, the  BJP or JD(S) ?
The communal BJP is our arch rival.  This election is between communal elements, who want to divide the nation, and the secular,  who want to build it.  

Some say the Congress has messed up in its selection of candidates 
No, not at all. Candidates have been selected  based on their merit and performance, by giving due  recognition to their services and representation for all communities.

Is it true that you insisted on contesting from a second constituency as intelligence reports were negative for Chamundeshwari? 
No, there is nothing negative. Everything is positive everywhere.   I am sure to win in Chamundeswari constituency.  I have  contested seven times from the  same constituency and  won five times in the past. I am contesting this time as a mark of respect, an acknowledgment for the love and affection showered on me  by the people of  the constituency. I have admirers elsewhere in the state too.   A lot of people  tried  to persuade  me to contest from one more constituency. It became very difficult for me to say no to them. I  left the decision to the party high command. 

What about the Chief Ministerial candidate issue? 
Our high command will take a call on this in consultion with the Congress Legislature Party. 


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