The Congress will contest the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections under the leadership of current Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the party confirmed on Wednesday. The news comes days after the BJP portrayed former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial face for the polls. Karnataka, one of the last strong holds of the Congress, goes to polls early next year.
“The coming Assembly Election of the State will be fought under the leadership of Shri. K Siddaramaiah, the present Chief Minister of Karnataka,” the party said in a press release. Dr G Parameshwara is expected to resign from his position in the state Cabinet and devote his time and energy to his current post as Pradesh Congress Committee president, the presser added.
INC PRESS BRIEF
AICC statement on important decisions regarding party affairs in Karnataka pic.twitter.com/tRF0cE08Ma
— INC India (@INCIndia) May 31, 2017
The Congress earlier this month said its objective for the upcoming elections is to keep the BJP from coming to power ‘at any cost’. The party’s state-in-charge KC Venugopal had said: “Our objective is to not allow the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) come to power in Karnataka at any cost. We will win the next assembly elections and form our government again.” Congress won the last state elections in May 2013, 10 years after the BJP ruled.
“We have taken the ensuing assembly elections as a challenge. We should strive hard to retain power in the state by strengthening the party from grassroots,” Venugopal, who was appointed to the post on April 29, added.
BJP president Amit Shah had last week confirmed that Yeddyurappa, an influential Lingayat leader, will be the party’s chief ministerial face. The BJP, which refrained from announcing a CM face for the previous elections, has changed strategy for Karnataka. When asked by a PTI reporter if Yeddyurappa will be the CM face, Shah had said, ““He will be.” Yeddyurappa, who was elected chief minister of the state in 2008, was forced to resign after corruption charges were filed against him.