Chamundeshwari (Karnataka): Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has reiterated his statement from 2013 state assembly elections. Talking to NDTV, the 70-year-old Siddaramaiah claimed that the upcoming elections in Karnataka will be the last one he will contest — something he had said earlier in 2013 as well.
"I said it on the floor of the house once that I will not contest again but the high command directed me to contest in this election because I have been there for five years as Chief Minister and I was told to take responsibility," Siddaramaiah said while campaigning in Chamundeshwari, one of the two seats he is contesting this time.
Chamundeshwari is the seat from where he made his debut in the Karnataka Assembly in 1983 as a Lok Dal Party candidate.
Siddaramaiah, who has won the seat five times and lost twice, contested the last two assembly polls from Varuna, a seat his son is contesting for the May 12 elections.
When Siddaramaiah was asked why he chose Chamundeshwari for 2018 elections, the Chief Minister said, "here I started my political career, so I wanted to contest my last election from the same constituency."
During the election campaign, the BJP has repeatedly attacked Siddaramaiah, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi coining a 2+1 formula (two seats for Siddaramaiah and one for his son Dr Yathindra).
The Chief Minister has hit back with the same language, questioning why the BJP had given tickets to two of the "tainted" Reddy brothers and BS Yeddyurappa who has spent time in jail earlier in an illegal mining case.
Siddaramaiah questioned the very basis of the BJP attack when Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had contested from two seats (Varanasi and Vadodara) during the 2014 general elections.
"What about he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) contesting two seats in 2014? What will he call it? How will he call it?" the Chief Minister asked.
The assembly poll campaign has seen sharp allegations and counters from both the Congress and the BJP. Both the parties have been targeting each other on social media too.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, whose tweets have gone up in the past few days, says it's not his language but he approves each one of them.
"I don't tweet myself, have friends who do it for me. I approve each Tweet before it's sent," he told NDTV.
Siddaramaiah also sought to blunt the attacks made by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda of the JD(S), a party he quit in 2006 to join the Congress.
"Deve Gowda is jealous of me because I completed five years as chief minister and he did not".