New Delhi: The Congress, within touching distance of victory in Karnataka, started ring-fencing its MLAs as it crossed the halfway mark in leads early today. The Congress triggered the race to power and party sources said the top leaders have planned to take its MLAs to Tamil Nadu (TN) and is in touch with the leadership of the ruling DMK.
Arrangements were also being made to take elected Congress MLAs to Bengaluru by evening. As it surged ahead in early leads, the Congress posted a video of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra with a caption that appeared to credit the leader with the party’s performance. “I’m invincible. I’m so confident. Yeah, I’m unstoppable today,” the Congress wrote with a fire emoji.
Several Congress leaders invoked Rahul Gandhi’s yatra, saying it “energised” people and damaged the incumbent BJP. Celebrations started early in the Congress as the leads started coming in. If the Congress wins, its main challenge will be a possible tussle over the Chief Minister’s post between Siddharamaiah and D.K. Shivakumar.
Varuna Congress MLA and son of former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, Dr. Yathindra Siddharamiah, said his father should be Chief Minister for the sake of Karnataka. “We will do anything to keep BJP out of power…In the interest of Karnataka, my father should become the Chief Minister,” Dr. Yathindra told reporters.
The Congress campaigned hard to wrest power from the BJP, which fought to break the 38-year-old pattern of alternating governments. Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge, held road shows, rallies and elections campaigns. An incumbent government has not returned to power in Karnataka after a full term of five years since 1985.