Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday asked his party colleagues to stop projecting anyone as Chief Ministerial candidate but rather focus on bringing the party into power in 2023 Assembly polls.
Shivakumar issued the fresh instructions to his party colleagues, after media sought his reaction on Leader of the Opposition, Siddaramaiah’s close aide and Chamrajpet MLA, B. Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan’s repeated assertions that he would like to address Siddaramaiah as ‘future CM’ while addressing in any public meeting in the state.
The state Congress chief said that he has already instructed his party colleagues that people should stop promoting ‘personality cult’ instead of working for the party.
“I have already told him (Khan) that he should stop it. I have often told everyone that the Congress will go to polls under a collective leadership. In this context I have told everyone to stay within limits,” he said.
He added that party central leaders too have said this and being the KPCC president saying this now.
“Some people may express personal opinions, but all that won’t be allowed,” Shivakumar said.
He said that the party should come to power in 2023 so that everyone will have to work together as a single unit.
“Who does not have aspirations? Be it Siddaramaiah, Mallikarjun Kharge, G Parameshwara and like me several others too have aspirations and expectations. But at present our duty is not about who should become CM. Our duty is to bring the Congress to power,” the KPCC president added.
Earlier in the day, Khan had once again termed that Siddaramaiah should be addressed as ‘future CM’ instead of calling him as leader of the opposition or former chief minister while inviting him on the dais.
While addressing at a function in Chamarajpet which was also attended by Siddarmaiah, Khan told organisers, “My heart refuses to call (Siddaramaiah) as former CM. For me, he’s the next CM,” Khan said.
On the sidelines of this programme, Siddarmaiah played down his aides remarks stating that he was just expressing his feelings towards him.
“Media should not attach too much importance if someone says something on his own. All I can say is that he likes me and therefore he may be making such comments. It is only his personal opinion. In our party – central leaders’ decision is final in such an important matter,” he said while subtly defending Khan’s remarks.
For the last couple of months, Khan had been repeatedly offering his constituency to Siddaramaiah and inviting him to contest from Chamarajpet instead of contesting in Badami in Bagalkote district.
Chmarajpet is considered to be most safest seat in Bengaluru due to high concentration of minority and dalit votes for Congress party.
On the other hand Shivakumar, as party state unit president, is looking to lead the party and is banking on his ‘loyal party worker’ tag to help him occupy the top post and hope to become the next CM.