In the midst of a hectic poll schedule in the sweltering heat in his hometown, Mysuru, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took time off to speak to Deccan Chronicle, handling with ease queries ranging from one on the charge of encouraging dynasty by propping up his son Dr Yathindra in Varuna, to another on whether his rivals in the Congress were trying to ensure he did not become CM again. He made no secret of his disillusionment with PM Narendra Modi saying the whole of India was waiting for the Karnataka poll results on May 15, which would be the harbinger of change in the country ahead of the 2019 parliament polls. Here are excerpts from the interview.
You have said that this will be your last assembly election. So does this mean you plan to contest the Lok Sabha elections and enter national politics?
I will not go into national politics. I will stay away after these elections.
You were against dynastic politics, and yet you have got a ticket for your own son these polls.
Who has been saying this? Yedduyurappa? Kumaraswamy? H D Deve Gowda? What moral right do they have to say it? I do oppose dynastic politics. After the last elections I had said in the assembly that I would not contest again. But the high command told me that since I was the Chief Minister for five years, I must lead the party these elections. So I changed my mind. I could have got a ticket for Rakesh even earlier because he has been working with me since 2004. But after he passed away, I asked Yatindra to take care of Varuna constituency. And now that I have decided to shift from that constituency, people of Varuna want Yatindra to contest.
Are your own Congress members conspiring to topple you?
No. There is perfect understanding among all of us. We are all united.
How important is this election for the Congress when it has lost most other states? Will it be able to bounce back from Karnataka?
The entire country is looking at Karnataka. MP and Rajasthan will go to elections in December. The Karnataka elections will be a stepping stone to national change. In 2019, Congress along with like -minded parties will capture power. Mr Modi’s image has deteriorated since 2014. People are disillusioned as he has failed to live upto his words. They say sab ka saath sab ka vikaas but promote communalism. Their intention is to change the Constitution.
Will Mr N A Haris get a ticket again?
Most likely. He is not the accused. The delay in announcing the ticket is because we are collecting opinions.
Why is Mr Ambarish so silent?
He has not spoken anything. We will talk to him tomorrow.
Will you induct former Minister, Janardhan Reddy into the party if he approaches you?
No, we will not. We went on a padayatra against him.
Belagavi rural MLA Sanjay Patil says that the election is a fight between Babri masjid and the Ram mandir
His political knowledge seems weak. It is not relevant.