President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee G. Parameshwara and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah have said that the Congress is not perturbed by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s announcement that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar will lead the party from the front in the coming Assembly elections.

“We are least bothered about these announcements… It is the BJP’s internal decision.”

The Congress leaders were addressing a joint press conference here on Sunday along with Union Ministers K. Rahman Khan and M. Mallikarjun Kharge.

‘Supported by all’

Dr. Parameshwara said the Congress had decided to face the elections under collective leadership as “we believe that the party is supported by all communities and castes and not dependent on the votes of a single caste or community”.

He said the Congress does not believe in fighting elections on caste or communal basis. He said the BJP government, which had been reduced to a minority, should not take any major decisions in the run-up to the elections.

To a question, Dr. Parameshwara said many Ministers and BJP MLAs were knocking on the doors of the Congress. A decision on admitting them into the party would be taken after consulting party leaders and workers from the constituencies represented by these BJP leaders, he said.

Dr. Parameshwara, however, refused to name such BJP leaders.

‘Dubious’

The Congress leaders charged that the BJP’s fight against corruption was dubious. Dr. Parameshwara said the party was adopting double standards when it comes to dealing with corruption charges against its leaders and wondered why no action was initiated against BJP State unit president K.S. Eshwarappa against whom a disproportionate assets case had been filed by the Lokayukta police.

To a question on the Congress stand on the former Minister Baburao Chinchansur, against whom a similar case has been registered by the Lokayukta, Dr. Parameshwara said, “Law will take its own course… we are also examining the case and will take necessary steps in due course.”

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