Bengaluru: Former Minister V. Somanna, who raised quite a few eyebrows recently with his statement that BJP leader B.Sriramulu was potential Chief Minister material, on Saturday defended his stand, saying he had the ability to head the state.
“There is nothing wrong in Mr Sriramalu becoming Chief Minister. I stand by my statement. If an OBC leader like Siddaramaiah can become Chief Minister, why not another backward class leader (Sriramulu) if he has the ability to lead the state?” Mr. Somanna demanded, speaking to Deccan Chronicle. “After my public endorsement of Sriramalu for the Chief Minister’s post, the Nayak community is giving overwhelming support to his sister, J.Shantha, who has been fielded by the BJP for the Ballari Lok Sabha bypoll. I am confident that Mr. Sriramlu will become Chief Minister of the state in future,” he asserted.
The BJP leader's support for Mr Sriramalu for the top job appears to have embarrassed the party at large with most leaders distancing themselves from his statement. BJP state chief, B.S.Yeddyurappa, who is waiting in the wings for another shot at the Chief Minister’s post, and has locked horns with Mr Somanna in the past, too has refused to react to his comment.
But Mr. Somanna clarified that he did not intend to undermine Mr Yeddyurappa. “After Yeddyurappa becomes the Chief Minister, who is next in line? This is why I am backing Mr Sriramulu. I have no intention of going against Mr, Yeddyurappa,” he said.
The BJP leader claimed that Congress candidate, V.S.Ugrappa was no competiton for Mr Sriramulu’s sister, J Shanta, in the Ballari Lok Sabha bypoll. “The elections will be completely one-sided as Mr. Sriramulu is a household name in the district,” he contended....