Karnataka

Siddaramaiah’s riposte: Why only Kharge, why not even Revanna for post of CM?

Siddaramaiah

Siddaramaiah  

The cloak-and-dagger show afoot in Karnataka ahead of the Lok Sabha election results on May 23 — with a barrage of comments by leaders of coalition parties on who is most fit to occupy the post of Chief Minister — got hotter on Thursday with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah taking to Twitter yet again on the matter.

In a riposte to the Janata Dal (S) leader’s statement during the course of bypoll campaigning on Tuesday that senior Congress leader M. Mallikarjun Kharge should have become Chief Minister long ago, Mr. Siddaramaiah said even Mr. Kumaraswamy’s brother H.D. Revanna was eligible to occupy the top post.

He said in a tweet, “H.D. Kumaraswamy is right. Mallikarjun Kharge can not only be CM but is also eligible for higher posts. There are a lot of people in Congress and JD(S) eligible for the CM’s post. Among them is H.D. Revanna. Time has to be right for anything.”

Countering this, Mr. Kumaraswamy took to Twitter and said, “My statement that a senior politician and statesman like Mallikarjun Kharge should have been CM long ago stems from my realistic understanding of Karnataka’s politics. It is not healthy to give it a political colour.” In another tweet, he said that Mr. Kharge was a tall leader who went above caste and party politics and his statement was not aimed to derive any “political benefit”.

During the bypoll rally on Tuesday, Mr. Kumaraswamy had said that Mr. Kharge, a Dalit leader, had faced injustice and had not got due recognition. A section of old Congress leaders also believes that Mr. Kharge missed the opportunity to ascend to the State’s top post in 2004 and 2013.

Mr. Kumaraswamy’s comment set political circles abuzz, particularly as it came on the heels of Mr. Siddaramaiah’s open spat with State JD(S) president A.H. Vishwanath, who had questioned the achievements of Mr. Siddaramaiah as Chief Minister. Prior to this, some supporters of Mr. Siddaramaiah had spoken about the prospect of his returning to the Chief Minister’s post, creating unease in the coalition.

Looking ahead

These developments come in the backdrop of word in some circles that in the event the Mahagathbandhan forms a government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha poll results are announced, Mr. Kumaraswamy should take up a national role, leaving the Chief Minister’s post to the Congress. During this time, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has been predicting the fall of the coalition government owing to its internal contradictions.

Meanwhile, Mr. Revanna said the Chief Minister’s chair was not vacant and his younger brother was occupying it now. “He [Mr. Siddaramaiah] has spoken of me out of affection and respect towards me since we have known each other for a long time,” he said, adding that he was not an aspirant for the post anyway. “I am working under the guidance of the Chief Minister and the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda,” he said.

A busy bee on Twitter

Mr. Siddaramaiah, who joined Twitter in July 2017, has been very active in posting comments on various issues during the past year.

The Congress Legislature Party leader used the site widely during the 2018 Assembly elections as well, putting out a series of sharp tweets targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa. In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he sent out tweets on a range of issues pertaining to his campaign, the promises he made and implemented during his tenure as Chief Minister, the lapses in the BJP government’s policies and more.

Mr. Siddaramaiah has more than 2.15 lakh followers on Twitter.

His tweet on May 2, 2018 challenging the Prime Minister to speak on the achievements of the B.S. Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka for 15 minutes without reading a paper is his most retweeted (9,047) and liked (19,348) comment. The average number of tweets from him daily is 3.92.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 5:35:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/siddaramaiahs-riposte-why-only-kharge-why-not-even-revanna-for-post-of-cm/article27154034.ece

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