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Friday, September 17, 2021

Amid speculations of Yediyurappa’s exit, Siddaramaiah calls for a Dalit CM in Karnataka

"If at all the BJP Karnataka president (Nalin Kumar Kateel) has a concern about Dalits, his party should pick a Dalit leader as the next CM of Karnataka after Yediyurappa's resignation," Siddaramaiah told reporters.

By: Express Web Desk | Mangaluru |
Updated: July 23, 2021 5:02:26 pm
Siddaramaiah hospitalisedSenior Congress leader Siddaramaiah. (File)

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah Friday urged the ruling BJP government to consider a Dalit leader as a possible successor for B S Yediyurappa, as strong speculations continue over the latter’s exit in the coming days.

“If at all the BJP Karnataka president (Nalin Kumar Kateel) has a concern about Dalits, his party should pick a Dalit leader as the next CM of Karnataka after Yediyurappa’s resignation,” Siddaramaiah said.

“As a person who speaks a lot about social justice, he (Kateel) should immediately take steps to appoint a Dalit leader as the next CM,” the leader of opposition in Karnataka told reporters in Mangaluru.

Siddaramaiah also alleged that the next person to be appointed as CM will also be “corrupt”.

“Whoever it is, the next person to be appointed as Karnataka CM will also be corrupt. Religious leaders should not get themselves involved in politicking as the opinion of the people is all that matters in politics. None from any matth should interfere in the internal affairs of any party.”

His statement comes after several seers and members of his Lingayat community opposed any move by the BJP central leadership to replace Yediyurappa.

The Congress leader also said that he would stay opposed to permitting those who defected from the party to help Yediyurappa form the government in 2019.

“I do not know whether those who left our party want to join back or not. However, I have made it very clear several times, including from the floor of the Assembly, that I will not take them back into the party. I stay solid on such statements,” he said in response to queries posed by reporters.

Earlier on Thursday, some among the 12 ministers (who were elevated to the state cabinet after defecting from Congress and JDS) — Byrathi Basavaraj, Dr K Sudhakar, BC Patil, MTB Nagaraj, Shivaram Hebbar, K Gopalaiah — had met the CM and senior BJP ministers to clarify their future keeping in mind the impending exit of Yediyurappa.

The huddle took place hours after Yediyurappa indicating that he would step down as CM after an event on July 26 to mark two years of the BJP government in Karnataka.

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