Hubballi: Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah claimed here on Tuesday that he was never against senior Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge becoming Chief Minister as alleged by JD(S) supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda.
Speaking to reporters in Vijayapur, he said,”It is wrong to say that I opposed the idea of Kharge becoming Chief Minister. The decision to form the JD(S)-Congress coalition government was taken by our high command. The party leaders approached me only after they took the decision with Deve Gowda. We had to form government with the JD(S) to prevent the communal BJP from coming to power in the state.”
On selection of candidates for the coming by-elections to 15 assembly constituencies, he said the list of the remaining seven candidates would be finalised on Wednesday after the Supreme Court pronounced its judgment on the petition of the disqualified legislators.
Mr Siddaramaiah denied reports of some noisy exchanges among the party leaders when discussing the selection of candidates on Monday.
Accusing Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa of masterminding Operation Lotus, he charged that he had formed his government by “buying” the 15 rebel legislators of the Congress and JD(S).
“But we are not involved in Operation Hastha. They should first focus on stopping those who are deserting the BJP to join the Congress. Some leaders from the ruling party will join us,” he added.
Later, addressing a Congress programme on the economic policies of the Union government in Vijayapur , Mr Siddaramaiah claimed the BJP was contesting elections only on emotional issues without trying to find solutions to the problems of the poor and unemployment.
“The cancellation of Tipu Jayanti and mass transfers of officials are the only two achievements of the state government after it came to power,” the former chief minister maintained.