Even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been summoned to Delhi by the Congress high command to discuss the reasons for the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle, Congress senior leader and Minister R.V. Deshpande on Wednesday said: “Mr. Siddaramaiah will continue to be Chief Minister as long as he enjoys the confidence of the Congress Legislature Party.”
In an informal chat with presspersons here on Wednesday, Mr. Deshpande categorically denied that there was rebellion in the Congress.
Referring to the demand by some party workers at a recent general body meeting here to expedite the process of appointing chiefs of boards and corporations, he said that it was not right to view this as raising a banner of revolt by the party workers. “It is their right to seek such posts,” he said.
When his attention was drawn to the Chief Minister’s recent remark that “the Congress government will complete its full term in the State irrespective of who the Chief Minister is”, Mr. Deshpande said: “One should understand that it is the Congress Legislature Party that has appointed Mr. Siddaramaiah as its leader and Chief Minister. He will continue to be the Chief Minister as long as he enjoys the confidence of the Congress Legislature Party.”
To a pointed query whether Mr. Siddaramaiah would complete his full term, he said: “Yes, he will complete the full term.”
Mr. Deshpande took exception to some of the leaders describing the Siddaramaiah government as a dispensation confined to AHINDA (Kannada acronym for Minorities, Backward Classes and Dalits) communities. “Some people are unnecessarily trying to brand this government as an ‘AHINDA government’. This is not a government which is confined to a particular community. This is a Congress government which is working for the welfare of all communities under the leadership of Mr. Siddaramaiah,” he said.“Is it proper to say that our flagship welfare measures such as Anna Bhagya and Ksheera Bhagya help only AHINDA communities? They help people of all communities,” he said.
Asked if he would aspire for the Chief Ministerial post if Mr. Siddaramaiah were to step down, Mr. Deshpande said that it was a hypothetical question.