Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 20 (ANI): With Karnataka Assembly elections less than two years away, Congress MLA and a loyalist of senior Karnataka Congress leader Siddaramaiah, Zameer Ahmad on Sunday created a stir after he termed Siddaramaiah as the 'future Chief Minister of Karnataka'.
According to party sources, ever since DK Shivakumar took oath as the Karnataka Congress president, there have been conflicts 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.
"I don't want to say Siddaramaiah as the past chief minister. I want to say my leader Siddaramaiah is the future chief minister. That's what the feeling of the people is. It is the opinion of the people," said Zameer Ahmed.
He made a similar statement several times earlier too. He has been projecting Siddaramaiah as the face of the Karnataka Chief Minister for the upcoming polls.
Reacting to Ahmed's statement Karnataka Congress resident DK Shivakumar said that Ahmed have been warned against making such statements at this crucial point of time. He stated that Congress believes in collective decisions. He also said that portraying a person as the chief minister is not the party's culture until a formal announcement is made by the party high command.
"I myself and state congress incharge Randeep singh Surjewala have already cautioned Zameer Ahmed not to make such statements at this point of time. We believe in collective decisions. I'm the president of the congress here in Karnataka, no leadership is important, what is important is leading congress towards victory," Shivakumar said.
"Worshiping one person instead of supporting collective party decisions can not be tolerated. Though Zameer Ahmad expressed his opinion, he must not forget he belongs to Congress, which don't have such culture to portray a person for chief minister post without high command's announcement," he added.
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah, responding to Ahmed's remarks said that it was his personal opinion.
While showing his loyalty to Siddaramaiah, Ahmed had announced that he is ready to leave his constituency Chamarajapete in Bengaluru to Siddaramaiah and he will make sure that Siddaramaiah wins by a huge margin.
Turning down Ahmed's offer, Siddaramaiah had said that he will contest from Badami, from where he is presently an MLA.
"When Karnataka faces a severe COVID condition, both the national parties are fighting for power and the chief minister's post. They have made a mockery of democracy and have insulted voters which is not at all acceptable. Instead of fighting the wrongdoings of the ruling government in Karnataka, Congress must not create another conflict over the Chief Minister's post which can be decided two years later. At present it's very important for the Congress to focus on helping people and leading party towards assembly elections in a positive way," said a senior Congress leader and former Union Minister who did not want his identity to be revealed.
"When D K Shivakumar is working as party president and leading party positively, no legislator needs to make such comments and announce Chief Ministerial candidates at this point of time unnecessarily," said another senior Congress leader.
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". (ANI)