Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday denied any rift between him and state Congress president DK Shivakumar, News18 reported.
He made these comments after arriving in Delhi to meet Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
“We’re building the party together,” Siddaramaiah said. “There’s no rift in the Karnataka Congress and the party will come back to power. Why should there be a rift? We are fighting against the corruption of the BJP.”
Disagreements have reportedly cropped up between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar on multiple fronts, including the party’s face for the 2023 Assembly elections and about the turncoat MLAs returning to Congress.
Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said it was too early to discuss the Congress’ chief ministerial candidate for Karnataka, ANI reported. However, a section of party MLAs and leaders, including Chickpet MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan and Kampli MLA JN Ganesh are openly backing him for the chief minister’s post if the Congress wins the election.
The former Karnataka chief minister said that he is in Delhi as Gandhi wanted to meet him. “This is what [Congress General Secretary in charge of organisation] KC Venugopal told me,” he added. “I don’t know what subject matter he is going to discuss.”
Shivakumar is also expected to visit Delhi on July 26, News18 reported.
Reports of disagreements in the Congress have come amid speculations about the possible resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Some Karnataka MLAs have been critical of the chief minister’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis and are reportedly upset because of alleged instances of corruption.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Basavaraj Patil Yatnal on Monday said that the party’s central leadership will soon pick a new chief minister for Karnataka who is “honest, pro-Hindu and capable of bringing the BJP back to power”.
An audio clip, purportedly of Nalinkumar Kateel, the chief of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Karnataka unit chief, speaking about a leadership change in the state also went viral on social media during the weekend. Kateel, however, has denied links to the audio clip.