Chief minister Siddaramaiah is leading the charge in the battle for Karnataka where polls are due on May 12. He speaks to Outlook amid his campaign in Mysore:
How tough is this election?
Of course, there is a triangular fight; prima facie it looks like that. But BJP does not have much presence in south Karnataka. It’s so for the JD(S) in north Karnataka. We have a strong presence in all 30 districts of the state. And, in five years our government has fulfilled all the promises we have made to the people through our manifesto. So the people have no grouse against us. There is no anti-incumbency. I have toured all the districts since December and I can understand the pulse of the people. I am confident that they will bless the Congress again. We will retain power with a clear majority.
What are the biggest issues in this polls?
Development agenda, communal agenda and opportunist agenda. Ours is a development agenda. See, any political party has got the right to raise issues. Let the BJP raise issues...if it is about corruption, let them raise it. But they are making baseless allegations. Where is the corruption in our government? Where are the scandals? Let them show.
The BJP is talking about minority appeasement. What’s your response?
We are not appeasing the minorities. We are respecting all religions equally. It’s a plural society with so many faiths, castes and languages. We have to go together. That’s what is required in our country.
Do you see a role for yourself nationally?
To tell you the truth, I have no ambition in national politics because twice I contested Lok Sabha elections. Both times I lost, and that is why I decided to confine myself only to state politics. So that question does not arise at all.