He refutes allegations that Congress and BJP have reached an understanding to fight the JD(S)

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said the Congress is expected to win 18 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the State.

He was speaking to presspersons at the helipad after the election campaign at Kollegal in Chamarajanagar district, here on Sunday.

“BJP is our nearest and direct rival in most constituencies, while the Janata Dal (Secular) was the nearest competitor in a few districts. The AAP is yet to take deep roots in the State, and hence one has to wait and watch on how the people will accept it,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

Refuting the allegations that the Congress and the BJP had reached an understanding to fight the Janata Dal (Secular), Mr. Siddaramaiah said no such thing was possible with a “communal” party.

Sharief issue

The Chief Minister said the former Union Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief was disappointed over not getting the party ticket.

“He is a senior leader of the party and I have spoken to him. The high command wanted to give a chance to youngsters, and hence Mr. Sharief was denied a ticket. But he will not quit the Congress on this count,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

The Chief Minister later held a meeting with senior leaders of the Congress on the elections.

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