Kolkata: Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s son, HD Kumaraswamy, is likely to be the next chief minister of Karnataka, said Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday evening, a few hours before voting starts in Karnataka.
“I think there will be a hung situation in Karnataka with Congress and BJP both getting seats that are comparable. In a situation, the role of HD Deve Gowda will become crucial. He can win 28-30 seats. I think his son will become the next chief minister,” said Mamata Banerjee during an interview with a Bengali TV channel.
The Trinamool Congress chief, who, over the past few months, has been trying to cobble together an anti-BJP front of regional parties in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s recent statement that he can be the Prime Minister (after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections), she said, “He is a Congressman and has stated the position of his party. There is nothing wrong in what he said.”
She predicted BJP reached its peak in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, and the general elections next year will witness an erosion of its support base.
This year there are important elections in the states of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. “BJP will go downhill,” she said.
“In Uttar Pradesh, if Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav unite, 50 to 60 seats will go to the alliance. In Bihar, no matter how much you put Lalu Prasad Yadav in jail, he will do well, I believe. DMK will be a factor in Tamil Nadu. I will not be surprised if they win 38 out of 39 seats,” remarked the Bengal chief minister.
“BJP cannot win elections in Maharashtra, Telangana, Odisha, Tamil Nadu of any other parties in the south, where the regional parties are extremely strong. If the regional parties get united and form a government, there will be political stability in the country, and the regional parties can make Congress and BJP rectify their flaws,” she said.
However, Mamata Banerjee said that she does not harbour any ambition to lead the front of regional parties. “I consider myself as a servant of the people. I would be happy to see Bengal playing a big role in the nation’s affairs.”