Ambareesh’s intentions may be good but I don’t want to go to Delhi, says Chief Minister

A day after actor-turned Housing Minister M.H. Ambareesh embarrassed the Congress by describing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as “Narendra Modi of the Congress”, Mr. Siddaramaiah himself led the damage-control exercise by categorically making it clear that there cannot be any comparison between him and Mr. Modi.

Progressive writers too came to his support by observing that Mr. Siddaramaiah is a person who can only be compared to the former Chief Minister and champion of backward classes late D. Devaraj Urs, but not with Mr. Modi.

“Mr. Ambareesh’s intentions may be good. But let me tell you clearly that this kind of comparison between me and Mr. Modi is totally irrelevant,” Mr. Siddaramaiah remarked while participating in the 98 birth anniversary celebrations of Devaraj Urs organised by the Backward Classes Welfare Department in Bangalore. In an obvious reference to the fact that Mr. Modi, who heads the BJP’s national election campaign committee, is eyeing a role in the national politics, Mr. Siddaramaiah said: “I do not want to go to Delhi. Even in my dreams, I cannot think of such a role for me.”

He also lashed out at Mr. Modi by remarking that: “How much ever the BJP praises him, the fact is that he is not pro-people like Devaraj Urs was.”

Take exception

Without taking Mr. Ambareesh’s name, progressive writers too expressed displeasure over such a comparison and instead sought to draw a parallel between him and Devaraj Urs who was known for his efforts to bring the downtrodden sections into the mainstream.

Taking serious exception to such a comparison, writer Baraguru Ramachandrappa said: “Mr. Modi is not a role model and he should not be a role model also.”

Indicating that Mr. Modi and Mr. Siddaramaiah are diagonally opposite characters in terms of ideology and thinking, he said: “Mr. Modi’s priority is helping MNCs and capitalists. In fact, he has given sops (Rs. 12,000 crore) to capitalists. Mr. Siddaramiah believes in Anna bhagya (providing rice at a rate of Re. 1 a kg to the poor), while Mr. Modi’s belief is in ‘Bandavaala bhagya’ (welfare of capitalists).”

He said: “What Karnataka needs is balanced development and not the Modi model of the welfare of only capitalists. Mr. Siddaramaiah is going in the right direction by following the welfare path of Devaraj Urs who believed in the development of the downtrodden.”

Jnanpith Award-winning writer U.R. Ananthamurthy said: “Devaraj Urs is still here in the form of Mr. Siddaramaiah.” The huge crowd that had turned up for the programme hailed these remarks with a thunderous round of applause.

Social Welfare Minister H. Anjaneya remarked that Mr. Siddaramaiah was getting shaped as the “No. 2 Devaraj Urs” by taking up welfare measures aimed at wiping the tears of the poor.

Responding to this, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that Devaraj Urs was a person who cannot be compared with anybody, not even himself. “Urs is Urs,” he noted.

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