Congress has won wherever PM Modi campaigned: CM Siddaramaiah

11:39 AM May 05, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah dismissed claims of a “Modi wave “gripping the state, citing the Congress’s victories in areas where Modi campaigned during the 2023 assembly elections.


Speaking exclusively to Udayavani, Siddaramaiah emphasized a burgeoning “guarantee wave,” expressing confidence in securing 18 to 19 Lok Sabha seats. He affirmed that the Congress-led INDIA alliance is poised to surpass the requisite seats for forming the central government. Siddaramaiah also refuted BJP’s allegations of guarantee schemes ceasing post-election.

Here are the excerpts from the interview: 

The first phase of voting has taken place in the state. The second phase of the election is to be held. How many seats do you believe Congress will win?

We will win 8 to 9 seats out of 14 constituencies for which voting has already taken place. Voting is yet to be held for 14 constituencies in the second phase. By winning more than 10 seats at this stage we will win a total of 18 to 19 seats in Karnataka. Out of the 543 seats in the country, the Congress will contest 330 seats, while INDIA’s allies contesting in the rest of the seats. Members of the alliance will win and support us in various states of the country including West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh. There will be more seats than the number required to form the government at the centre.


Despite forming an alliance at the national level, why didn’t the Congress choose its leaders for the INDIA Bloc? Who is your prime ministerial candidate?

INDIA Bloc is led by Congress. AICC president Mallikarjuna Kharge is its chairman. Only after winning the majority, the Prime Minister candidate will be announced. All these will be decided after the general minimum program is chalked out. Did the BJP announce the CM candidate before the elections everywhere? They don’t have any prime ministerial candidate, so they just say Modi’s name. It (Choosing the PM candidate) is a matter decided by the Parliamentary Board. How is it possible to select a candidate for the Prime Minister without being elected as an MP?

BJP says there is a ‘Modi wave’ all over the country. You say there is a ‘guarantee wave’. Which of the two is credible?

There is no Modi wave. Wherever Modi went in the 2023 assembly elections, we won by huge margins. He went to Sedam, Sharan Prakash Patil won by a margin of more than 40,000 votes; went to Belagavi, and went to Nanjangud. But didn’t we win everywhere? The guarantee wave is clearly visible in Karnataka. All the people are happy because we have delivered the guarantee schemes and money is being deposited directly into people’s bank accounts without the hassle of middlemen. There is trust and confidence in Congress. How did we win 136 seats in Karnataka? Isn’t it based on guarantees themselves? BJP also announced guarantee schemes in Madhya Pradesh. Haven’t they announced in Rajasthan too? Now Modi is speaking of guarantees. Modi’s guarantee is to lie.

Has development been hindered by guaranteed schemes?

We have earmarked funds for the implementation of guarantees in the budget. How will it stop? Why will it stop? BJP’s job is to misguide people. In the beginning, they said that the guarantee would not be implemented. They used to say that the treasury would be emptied out. Once guarantees were rolled out, they raised questions about the implementation. When the guarantees reached people, now they are saying ‘guarantees will be stopped’ after the elections. They are just lying. I have kept aside Rs 52,009 crore in the budget guarantee implementation. Next year it may be slightly higher. Capital expenditure is higher this time than last time. Development cannot be delayed for any reason.

You had a conflict with the Center on the issue of drought relief and went to the Supreme Court. Is conflict the solution to everything in a union system?

Calling it a “conflict with the central government” is wrong. We have gone to court against the injustice done to us. Why would we have gone to court if they had released (drought relief)? We asked for Rs 17,172 crores. Even though I, our minister visited and wrote a letter, it (relief grants) was not given. The legal fight is the only alternative when there are no relief funds even after seven months. We went to the Supreme Court.

They (the Centre) agreed to release the funds but gave less. If the matter was not taken to the Supreme Court, even that would not have been released. This is just hate politics. The Center intends that the Congress government should get a bad name, it should be shown that the farmers were not given drought relief, the drought was not handled properly, and it should affect the Lok Sabha elections.

How did they give Rs 3,454 crore now? Wasn’t it given according to NDRF guidelines? Why was it not given earlier? Why was it given only after the Supreme Court gave the direction?

Isn’t there a buzz in political circles that the state government will fall after the Lok Sabha elections?

Who said that the relationship between me and DCM is not good? That is just BJP’s false accusation. We both are campaigning together. Why does the state government fall after the Lok Sabha elections? Do we have as much infighting as the BJP? Then, why would Eshwarappa contest independently if there was no infighting (in BJP)? Didn’t Eshwarappa, the RSS stalwart and leader who was the BJP president, run as an independent? The same situation exists in their alliance. Secular voters vote for a secular party. Why do they vote for those who preach a communal agenda?

Prajwal Revanna’s case is taking a turn day by day. Your friend H.D. Revanna’s name is also an accused.  There are allegations of a conspiracy to target former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda and finish him off politically. What is your answer to this?

HD Revanna was with me. So were Kumaraswamy and GT Devegowda. Like all MLAs, Revanna is an acquaintance.  The law of the land applies to all equally. There is no question of compromise on the matter of law. Regardless of when the incident took place, the legal process starts when the complaint is received. The letter was sent to the government based on a complaint received by the Women’s Commission. An FIR has been registered and an investigation has been started. Meanwhile, Prajwal Revanna has quietly fled the country. I have also written a letter to the Prime Minister and requested the cancellation of his passport and visa. Rahul Gandhi has written a letter to provide necessary support to the victims. We are providing all necessary protection (to the victims).

Translated from a Kannada article by Samaga Sheshadri


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