Will vacate seat for Siddaramaiah if he wishes to contest from Kalaghatagi: Congress leader Santosh Lad

A few weeks ago, Mr. Lad had said senior leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar should not contest elections, and instead campaign for other party candidates to bring the party to power

December 04, 2022 05:31 pm | Updated 05:31 pm IST - Belagavi

Congress leader from Kalaghatagi and former minister Santhosh Lad. File photo

Congress leader from Kalaghatagi and former minister Santhosh Lad. File photo | Photo Credit: The Hindu

“If Congress leader Siddaramaiah wishes to contest from Kalaghatagi, I will vacate the seat for him,’‘ former minister and Congress leader Santosh Lad, said in Hubballi on Sunday. He was speaking to reporters at the Hubballi airport.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Lad had said senior leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar should not contest elections, and instead campaign for other party candidates to bring the party to power. He had argued that a leader like Siddaramaiah could become the chief minister without contesting polls.

However, on Sunday, he cited no reason for his change of stance.

“Some vested interests are trying to divide the society on the basis of language. We should be cautious about them. I am a member of the Maratha community that speaks Marathi predominantly. However, that does not mean we have to hate people who speak Kannada or other languages,’‘ he said. He appealed to people to not allow themselves to be divided along linguistic lines.

He said the Lad Foundation, that he supports, was planning to conduct a mass marriage programme for at least 4,000 couples in Kalaghatagi in February. “I am not doing this for political reasons. I have always organised mass marriages to mark my birthday. This is no different,’‘ he said. He hinted that this was likely to set a world record.

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