BJP leader KS Eshwarappa said on Sunday that Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chairman DK Shivakumar were not on the same page on the controversial issue of the census of castes in the state.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru after participating in a jatha cycle in Mysuru organized by the backward classes of the Morcha party to mark the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Eshwarappa, who is also Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj said the two congressional leaders were bickering and the party splitting in two ahead of the next state assembly elections.
Mr. Siddaramaiah has long fought for the submission of the caste census report to the state government by the Standing Committee on Backward Classes of Karnataka State. Although the census was taken during his tenure as chief minister, the report was not submitted as Mr Siddaramaiah claimed he was not ready until he stepped down. in 2018. He also accused JD (S) HD leader Kumaraswamy of refusing to accept the report on the caste census when he later assumed the post of chief minister of the coalition government.
Mr. Eshwarappa sought to find out why Congress remained silent on the issue during the recent Legislative Assembly session. He claimed that Mr. Shivakumar issued a diktat to party leaders that questions relating to the census of castes should not be raised by anyone until a committee formed under the chairmanship of former chief minister Mr. Veerappa Moily investigates the matter and submits a report. to the party leadership.
BJP leader questioned Mr Siddaramaiah’s commitment to the backward classes by asking why, as head of the Congress-JD (S) coalition government coordinating committee, he did not withdraw his support to the HD Kumaraswamy government when the latter refused to accept the caste census report. .
Mr Eshwarappa said the Congress party only used the backward classes and Dalits as “political” pawns for the sake of power. The backward classes and Dalits gave their support to the BJP, which saw the party win 25 of Lok Sabha’s 28 seats in the state, he said.
Although the backward classes and Dalits rejected Congress, Mr. Siddaramaiah strove to win them over by organizing their rallies in different parts of the state while “dreaming” of becoming chief minister again. Meanwhile, Mr. Shivakumar also hopes to become the chief minister and was making efforts to draw BJP deputies into the fold of Congress.
“There is no doubt that the Congress party will split in two before the next assembly elections. I don’t think it takes even a year and a half for that to happen, ”he said, referring to the rivalry within the Congress party over the leadership issue.
The Minister of Social Affairs and Downgrades Kota Srinivas Poojary was also present on the occasion.