After Raghavendra Hitnal, Congress MLA from Koppal, backed party legislator Zameer Ahmad's demand to project Siddaramaiah as Congress chief ministerial candidate in the next Assembly polls, former Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwar, who was the long time president of Karnataka Congress for eight years, on Monday said that president of the party is supreme and leaders must follow the guidelines and suggestions given by him.
Speaking to reporters here Parameshwar said, "As for as Congress is concerned, state party president is supreme, whether DK Shivakumar, Dinesh Gundu Rao or me, whatever the business it could be, president will be supreme in our party. Whatever DK Shivakumar says that's the opinion of the party. Whatever he says, it comes with the high command's permission. The party high command has given permission to DK Shivakumar, there is no groupism in congress till today. If some issues are raised, party high command will clear them. Whether it's Zameer Ahmed or anybody else in the party, they must follow the instructions of DK Shivakumar as he's the state party president."
He further said the party's leaders should focus on fighting against the failure of the present BJP-led state government and bringing back Congress to power in the state.
"Siddaramaiah has already said it's Zameer Ahmad's personal opinion. In politics, we will have followers. They will speak up over what they feel and what they wanted us to be. That is their opinion. Even my followers want me to be CM. What our leaders must need to do is to fight against failure of the present government, fight against BJP and bringing back Congress government to power," said Parameshwar.
Parameshwar's remarks came after Raghavendra Hitnal backed party legislator Zameer Ahmad's demand to project Siddaramaiah as Congress chief ministerial candidate in the next Assembly polls.
"People of the state want Siddaramaiah as Chief Minister and that is the reason Zameer Ahmad has the made statement. It is not only his opinions, it is the opinion of the people of Karnataka," said the Koppal MLA.
Slamming the BJP government over its COVID-19 handling, Hitnal said: "At this point of time, if Siddaramaiah would have been the Chief Minister, he could have brought the proper program to curb the COVID in Karnataka. He gave many schemes when he was CM. People of Karnataka are not happy because Siddaramaiah hasn't become CM once again," he said.
According to party sources, ever since DK Shivakumar took oath as the Karnataka Congress president, there is conflict within the party over who will be the party's chief ministerial candidate, with cadres and MLAs divided between the DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah camps.
The differences between the two camps are now out in the open, but the party high command has advised everyone to focus on the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election instead of the chief minister's post, sources said.
Talking about Congress state president DK Shivakumar's statement, Hitnal said, "DK Shivakumar has said that no person should be worshiped and the party is important. He has said what he has to say as the party president, and in the interest of the party. If I am asked about my personal opinion, I will say it."
"There is no confusion as for as leadership is a concern in Congress. Party high command will decide in future about it, but as far as people's opinion is concerned 100 to 200 per cent Siddaramaiah will become next Chief Minister for sure. It's not only my opinion, but it's also the opinion of the auto driver, the poor, daily wage worker, and shop keepers," he added.
Raghavendra Hitnal is also a loyalist of Siddaramaiah and he's in the Siddaramaiah Group.
Earlier, commenting on the conflict over the Chief Minister's post in Karnataka Congress, KS Eshwarappa, senior BJP leader and Karnataka cabinet minister had said, "There is a fight for the Chief Minister's post with the Congress dreaming of either Siddaramaiah or DK Shivakumar in the CM's chair which can create more problems for Congress in future for sure and DK Shivakumar must not forget that backstabbers are behind him".
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