Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel on Sunday dared Leader of Opposition, Siddaramaiah to announce Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha M. Mallikarjuna Kharge’s name for the Chief Minister’s post ahead of the next assembly elections in 2023, instead of asking his supporters to announce his own name for CM’s post.
Heated words between Kateel and Siddaramaiah had been going on the “Dalit CM issue” for the last couple of months.
Siddaramaiah, time and again, raked up the issue of Dalit CM to drive home a point to highlight that ruling BJP was averse to Dalits, while in an equally sharp attack, Kateel slams Siddaramaiah, openly accusing him of conspiring against Dalits in Karnataka and preventing them from becoming CM in Karnataka.
Kateel said that Siddaramaiah had been the Chief Minister of Karnataka for five years.
“If he has any genuine concerns about Dalits, let him announce (Mallikarjuna) Kharge as the chief ministerial candidate for the next assembly elections, instead of playing musical chairs with the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, D.K. Shivakumar over the CM issue,” Kateel said.
According to him, Siddaramaiah became a chief minister as soon as he joined the Congress party.
“He (Siddaramaiah) is a good leader but I will tell you the reports that appeared in the newspapers. In 2009, G. Parameshwar was the KPCC president. Siddaramaiah took the support of people of his own caste and defeated Parameshwar in 2013 Assembly polls in Koratgere where Kurubas (to which Siddaramaiah belongs) are in sizeable number,” he said
He added that after becoming the chief minister, Siddaramaiah didn’t even bother to give the deputy chief ministerial post to Parameshwar.
Kateel added that Siddaramaiah has not only defeated Prameshwara but also many Dalit leaders including Kharge, K. H. Muniyappa, Chandrappa, M. Dhruvanarayana and ill-treated, V. Srininvasparsad who is now with BJP and MP from Chamarajanagar.
“Above all, even his own close aide and Pulikeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivas house were set on fire and till date, he has not been able to protect Srinivas’s interests in the party,” he charged.
Pointing out at the architect of the Constitution, Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Kateel said that the Congress party did not even provide land to perform Ambedkar’s final rites.
“It did not even accord Bharat Ratna award to Dr Ambedkar. And Congress did not even make another great Dalit leader Babu Jagajeevan Ram as the PM. This their (Congress party’s) legacy of how they have treated Dalits all along,” he said.