It's not as if he has revealed something which is unknown in the public domain. But it's the open admission that earned him a round of applause at a function, organised by "Rashtriya Navanirmana Vedike", to mark the 87th birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde.
"It's true that standards in politics have gone down", said Siddaramaiah, who was in the cabinet of Hegde, heading the then Janata Party government in 1980s. "There is a world of difference between the politics practiced during Hegde's regime and now".
"It's true that today you need money and muscle power (in politics)", said the Chief Minister, who completed 100 days in office earlier this month heading the Congress government which assumed office ousting BJP.
"I have compromised a bit. It would be self-deception if I say that I am 100 per cent honest".
Siddaramaiah, who has the distinction of presenting as many as eight state budgets, added "people give money during elections. We don't know the source of the money. We have to accept that politics has become polluted".
He described Hegde, considered as one who set high political standards when he was at the helm, as his source of inspiration, at the function, also attended by Tourism and Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande, a close associate of the former Chief Minister at the time.