As the polling date nears, the mandate for Karnataka Assembly looks to be swinging. A survey by C-fore has predicted a hung assembly, by stopping the Congress tally at anywhere between 95-102. As per the survey, BJP has made significant consolidation of its position and it is predicted that BJP might win anywhere between 60-75. The biggest winner is JD(S), which according to the survey will win anywhere between 45-55 seats.
The KJP headed by former chief minister Mr B S Yeddyurappa is likely to get anywhere between 10-20 seats. The KJP is already hoping to be part of the coalition government and its spokesperson Mr Dhananjay Kumar said that the next government will be combination of KJP and Congress, which Congress has not denied.
Meanwhile, BJP is hoping to revive its old coalition partner - JD(S). But, dismissing the speculations, JD(S) President Mr H D Kumaraswamy expressed confidence of JD(S) coming to power on its own.
"Earlier, poll surveys dismissed us by giving 20-30 seats. Now, they have reached nearly 50. Let's see what happens after the elections," he said.
"I have traveled over one lakh kms during the last two years in the state. Even my manifesto was based on day to day problems of common people in the state. Besides, I have reached out more than 1.5 crore people on voice mail. I am confident that JD(S) will reach the magical number," he said.
When asked if his party would be king or king maker, Mr Kumaraswamy said that he was nobody to decide that. "It is not in my hand. It will be decided by the people, who are voting on May 5. Only after the results, one will know if people wants us to be king or king makers," he said.
When pointed out that JD(S) was strong only in Old-Mysore region and where he was expecting to make inroads, Mr Kumaraswamy said that his party was going to open accounts in districts like Belgaum, Bijapur, Hubli-Dharawad, Bellary, Gulbarga, Bidar, Bagalkot.
"Out of 94 constituencies in North Karnataka, we will win 35-40 seats. Besides, in Bengaluru alone, JD(S) will win in around 10 seats," he said.
Mr Kumaraswamy denied the suggestion that he was soft towards the BJP, after exit of former chief minister Mr B S Yeddyurappa. "There was nothing personal against Mr Yeddyurappa. I was fighting against behavior of a chief minister. Why should I be soft on BJP leaders? Are they my cousins?," Mr Kumaraswamy asked.
Taking a dig at both the national parties, Mr Kumaraswamy said that both the parties talk about corruption, but no one raised the local issue.
"Congress leaders like Mr Rahul Gandhi talks about corruption in Karnataka, as if Karnataka is not part of India. What about corruption in Delhi? At the same time, BJP leaders talk about corruption in Delhi, forgetting what their party leaders did here," he said.
Taking a dig at opposition leader Mr Siddaramaiah, Mr Kumaraswamy said that Congress was indirectly reason for growth of corruption in Karnataka, by being a mute spectator to corrupt practice by BJP government.
"In 2004 election, Mr Siddaramaiah had promised to send Mr S M Krishna and his cabinet colleagues to jail, if JD(S) government came to power. Now, he is telling that he would recover the money amassed by BJP leaders, if Congress came to power. KJP Spokesperson Mr Dhananjaya Kumar has said that the next government would be alliance between KJP and Congress and Congress has not denied it. Let us see from whom Siddaramaiah will recover money from."
Mr Kumaraswamy also did not spare Gujrat Chief Minister Mr Narendra Modi. "Every one talks about Modi style of development. I was just going through election manifesto of Mr Narendra Modi, which states that the Gujrat government will build 50 lakh houses in next five years. If Gujrat needs 50 lakh houses even after 12 years of Mr Modi rule, then what kind of development is that? Modi magic will not work in Karnataka," he added.
When asked if he was cleanest politician in Karnataka, Mr Kumaraswamy reiterated his old statement that even Mahathma Gandhi was alive, either he should have made adjustments or quit politics.
"The statement had stirred a debate, but truth is that, no one can fight politics by investing personal money. You need contributions. Congress has Rs 1400 crore white money and BJP has over Rs 700 crore. Ours is a small party and we do receive donations. However, when we come to power, the donors should not determine the policies, which will ultimately become a mafia by itself," Mr Kumaraswamy added.
Taking a dig at strict measures taken by election commission, which has seized over Rs 12 crore cash, Mr Kumaraswamy said that distribution of money has not come down at all.
"I keep reading that election commission seizing Rs one or two lakh from people. But money is flowing in crores in every constituencies. The Election officials check our pockets, whenever we get down from aircraft. Can anyone carry crores of rupees in their pockets?" he questioned.