If hung verdict, both Siddaramaiah & Yeddyurappa may have to give up Karnataka CM ambitions

Bengaluru, Karnataka, IndiaWritten By: Nischita VerrendraUpdated: May 14, 2018, 12:36 PM IST

File photos of BS Yeddyurappa (left) and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

With a day left for the Karnataka election results, speculation in the south Indian state is running wild. With a whole spectrum of exit polls predicting every possible outcome, the results this time are truly shrouded in mystery. 

So what are the possible outcomes in these hard-fought Karnataka elections? 
The stakes are particularly high for the Congress, being the incumbent in the state. Relegated to just three states nationally, the grand old party would want to return to power with a full majority. 
With indications of a hung assembly being thrown up well in advance, the Congress strategy led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was focused on consolidating the AHINDA vote base comprising minorities, Dalits and SC/STs. The three communities form 60% of the state's population. If Congress fails to get a full majority or something close to it, it will be forced to look at coalition options. 

But Siddaramaiah's bitter relationship with the JD(S) and its supremo HD Deve Gowda could prove to be a roadblock for talks between the two parties. In the event of talks happening, Siddaramaiah can bid his chief ministership goodbye. 

HD Kumaraswamy would want to be the king, not kingmaker, least of all for Siddaramaiah.  
In another scenario, the Congress might look for a more neutral face to lead its charge in the state. 

Some of the names doing the rounds include that that of veteran leader and MP Mallikarjuna Kharge. 

Kharge missed out on becoming chief minister in 2013. 

KPCC President G Parameshwar has also nursed CM ambitions, and even said that he will welcome the high command's decision to have a Dalit chief minister. 

The other leader who has shown chief ministerial ambitions is Energy Minister DK Shivakumar. His chequered image had kept him out of the race last time and his demand for the deputy CM's post was not met. 

Last but not least, Congress could consider the non-controversial figures of Industry Minister RV Deshpande and KPCC working president Dinesh Gundurao. 

Interestingly, the Congress has not officially declared a CM candidate, but merely made Siddaramaiah in charge. 


 Let's move on to the BJP. Their chief ministerial candidate is BS Yeddyurappa. 

Like for Siddaramaiah, these elections could be the last for the 75-yearr-old Yeddyurappa should he fail to bring the party back to power. 
If the BJP does get into talks with the JD(S) following a post-poll hung assembly, then Yeddyurappa's chief ministership might be in trouble. 

Unlike the absolute mess that the BJP and JD(S) had together created in 2007, this time around Kumaraswamy might demand the position all for himself — owing to Yeddyurappa's diminished stature. 
Just as important to remember is that coalition governments have been extremely unstable in Karnataka, with most coalition chief ministers not completing a full term.