BENGALURU: The Congress has told its ministers “Don’t go around proclaiming Siddaramaiah as the next Chief Minister.” On Thursday, the state Congress held a meeting of ministers to officially discuss the issue of drought in 156 taluks and by-elections in Kundgol (Dharwad) and Chincholi (Gulbarga), where the strict warning came, said a source.
Senior leaders M B Patil and P T Parameshwar Naik had earlier said that “Siddaramaiah was their leader” in the last 48 hours, much to the discomfiture of the JD(S).
On Wednesday, following a meeting with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao had said,” No one should cause confusion.’’ When contacted, Rao told The New Indian Express, “I did not reiterate it in today’s meeting. But partymen have been already told not to embarrass the government by making such remarks.”
Rao told TNIE, “Some Congress leaders have complained to me that mediapersons were distorting their answers’’Earlier, the Home Minister MB Patil had clarified that he had only said: “Siddaramaiah will be our leader after the next election.” He claimed that the ‘next election’ bit was removed from his statement.
But even as Congress was firefighting, another Siddaramaiah’s supporter said on Thursday that Siddaramaiah should be the next CM. N Cheluvaraya Swamy, the one who supported Sumalatha in Mandya, said, “Many MLAs want Siddaramaiah to be the next CM.’’ Cheluvarayaswamy has served as minister in the HD Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet and was a former Member of Parliament from Mandya. He added, “This government will not last long.’’
In response to Cheluvarayaswamy’s statement, HD Kumaraswamy’s brother and PWD minister HD Revanna said, “If I speak in response to what he said, it will be like assaulting my own dignity.’’ Earlier, JD(S) president A H Vishwanath wondered why Congressmen were asking for Siddaramaiah to be the CM again. R V Deshpande has also flayed Cheluvarayaswamy’s comment.