In another U-turn, Siddaramaiah says he won’t contest assembly polls | Bengaluru News


HUBBALLI/BENGALURU: In what appeared to be damage control exercise, Congress legislature party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday sought to downplay the growing clamour within his party to make him chief minister again, saying he will stand by his earlier pledge and not contest the next assembly polls in 2023.
“I have no aspiration of becoming chief minister now because there is no vacancy and I have decided not to contest the next assembly elections,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Hubballi on Tuesday, while seeking to put a cap on the raging controversy that led to a bitter public spat between him and his bete noire and JD(S) state president AH Vishwanath.
However, Siddaramaiah, in the same tenor, also defended his supporters’ clamour to make him CM again. “I don’t see anything wrong in their [supporters] feelings since it’s just an expression of affection,” he said. “And they want me to become CM in 2023 and not now. What is wrong in that when there is nothing that disqualifies me from becoming the CM again?”
Siddaramaiah said when his supporters demand that he should become CM again at meetings, he responds by saying, “If people bless, let us see. The idea is to keep them happy, but the media picks this and blows it way out of proportion. What is wrong in responding like that to a particular situation when I have already publicly declared that I will not contest the next election?”
Ahead of the May 2018 assembly polls, Siddaramaiah had said it would be his last election. Earlier, during the 2013 assembly polls too, he had said that it was his last election and went on to become the chief minister after the polls.
Over the past few days, there has been a growing clamour among Congress legislators, most of whom are loyalists of the former CM, to make Siddaramaiah the chief minister again. This drew the ire of Vishwanath, who described Siddaramaiah’s CM aspiration as “tevalu” (addiction) and raised several question over his performance as CM.
Countering this, Siddaramaiah said that he will not discuss the issue publicly, but take it up at the coordination committee meeting.

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