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Belagavi: With elections to the state assembly looming it appears more than one Congress leader is nursing ambitions of becoming Chief Minister. Water Resources Minister, M B Patil , who has been in the limelight of late owing to his involvement in the Lingayats’ movement for independent religious status, on Thursday made it clear that he saw himself becoming Chief Minister one day.
While he maintained that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would return for a second term, he asserted it would be his turn next. Speaking to reporters in Vijayapura, Mr Patil reasoned that anyone could nurse an ambition to become CM and he was no different. The minister was replying to a question on whether he was in the race for the top job.
This is not the first time that the minister has spoken of his ambitions as he has admitted to them in the past too. Mr Patil has emerged as a strong leader of the dominant Lingayat community in the state since its movement gained momentum and some party leaders reportedly plan to soon project him as someone capable of replacing Mr Siddaramaiah in future.
The Lingayat movement has seen a large chunk of the community in North Karnataka and other parts of the state turn against BJP chief, B S Yeddyurappa, who has until now been seen as its undisputed leader. Several Congress leaders are keen to capitalise on this by bringing Mr Patil more into the spotlight.
A number of leaders from the community too feel its movement provides the minister the perfect platform from which to stake claim to the CM's post as it could help the Congress gain mass support in the coming poll.
The minister is preparing to showcase his strength once again at another rally in the Lingayat heartland of Hubballi on November 5.