Mysuru: Former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday not only dismissed reports of conflict in the party over seat sharing with the Janata Dal (S) , but was also confident that former minister, A Manju, would not quit the Congress to join the BJP as rumoured.
As for the Tumakuru ticket, he said he would speak to AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal, about it. “The list of all our 20 candidates will be released in one go. There is no conflict in the party,” he claimed, speaking to reporters here.
Mr Siddaramaiah, who was in Mysuru to discuss fielding a candidate for the Mysuru-Kodagu seat ruled out the possibility of the Congress fielding Ms Sumalatha Ambareesh this Lok Sabha poll. “I will not talk about it as our party will not field her. We have given up Mandya to the JD(S) and the rest is left to them. Yesterday they announced Nikhil as their candidate (for Mandya). Let them choose anyone as their candidate, I will tour all constituencies and campaign for the Congress-JD(S) coalition,” he said.
Accusing the BJP of trying to take the focus away from developmental issues this Lok Sabha by its publicity for its air strikes against Pakistan backed terror outfits, Mr Siddaramaiah added, “During the Congress government (at the Centre) there were 12 to 13 surgical strikes. But did it use them for publicity? When Indira Gandhi was PM Pakistan surrendered during the Bangla war. Is the surgical strike of the BJP bigger than that? The Congress has never used the country’s security for politics. When have the BJP leaders sought a vote on developmental and farmers” issues?”
Accusing MP Pratap Simha and other BJP leaders of failing to carry out development work in the state, he said, “Will Nalin Kumar Kateel or Ananth Kumar Hegde come forward for a discussion on development issues with R Druvanarayan?”
Mr Siddaramaiah refused to comment on the possibility of veteran BJP leader, V Srinivasprasad contesting from Chamarajnagar, only saying, “It’s left to him.”...