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No anti-incumbency against Siddaramaiah in Karnataka, says Congress leader Veerappa Moily at India Today Karnataka Panchayat

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MUMBAI: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddarmaiah won't have to contend with the anti-incumbency factor in the May assembly election, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily said Saturday.

During a wide-ranging conversation with India Today's Rajdeep Sardesai and Congress parliamentarian Mallikarjun Kharge at India Today Karnataka Panchayat 2018, Moily pointed out that the Congress had won by-elections in Karnataka and significantly improved its performance in local body polls.

Last year, the Congress won assembly bypolls in Gundlupet and Nanjangud despite an aggressive BJP campaign. And in the local body polls held the year before, it won well over 450 zilla panchayat seats - the lion's share.

Meanwhile, Mallikarjun Kharge sounded equally confident. When he said the Congress would return to power with a "thumping majority," there were echoes of the confidence Siddaramaiah himself showed during a recent India Today interview.

In fact, the chief minister even ruled out the possibility of a hung assembly.

Voters in Karnataka will head to the polls on May 12, and counting is scheduled for May 15.

If Siddaramaiah manages to retain his post, he will be the first man to do so since Ramakrishna Hegde's third consecutive term as Karnataka's leader ended in 1988.

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