HASSAN: In a sign that former chief minister Siddaramaiah is far from done with politics and will not be content by taking a back seat, the Kuruba strongman made it clear he was intent on making a comeback for a second stint as chief minister of the state. “If I have the blessings of voters, I will become the CM again. If I become the CM again, I can do more good work for the state,” he said.
That he picked the Vokkaliga heartland and in particular, Holenarsipur, the erstwhile home turf of his mentor-turned-foe H D Deve Gowda, to drop the bombshell on Friday was lost on no-one.
More so, as he openly spoke of his desire to return as Chief Minister and how some leaders of his party had ganged up to prevent him from serving another term at the helm, after polls to the Legislative Assembly in May this year. His about-turn, coming in the wake of his announcement he wished to retire from electoral politics, could either be the precursor to plans to split the Congress to return to the top position or could be mere posturing to ensure that all his supporters are inducted into the cabinet during the last phase of expansion.
His public disclosure of such ambitions came on the heels of his trusted lieutenant and minister Ramesh Jarkiholi openly telling the party top brass about the stifling atmosphere within the cabinet and complete dominance by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, his elder brother and PWD minister H.D. Revanna and father Mr Deve Gowda and unconfirmed reports that more than a dozen Congress legislators would quit soon after completion of 100 days of the coalition government next week.
He vowed to continue in politics, where he said money power and casteism are playing a major role in the current scenario. The former chief minister was speaking of his come-back plans at the inauguration of temples of Lord Shiva and Veerabhadreshwara in Hadya village in Holenarasipur taluk.
In an oblique reference to JD (S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda's claim that he was responsible for sanctioning reservation for the backward classes, Mr Siddaramaiah retorted that it was he who had provided reservation for the backward classes though others were claiming credit for it. He also ruled out the possibility of reconstitution of the coordination committee headed by him. The former chief minister slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting flood-hit Kodagu district and wondered why he deputed defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman to assess the damage in the coffee growing areas.
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