Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.(PTI file)
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.(PTI file)

Congress attacks Yediyurappa, lays out red carpet for disgruntled BJP leaders

  • Karnataka Congress president, D K Shivakumar said the party will make its stand on issues like reservation clear in the coming days and invited all disgruntled elements within the BJP to join the Congress.
By Sharan Poovanna | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Bengaluru
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 02:32 PM IST

Congress has launched an offensive against Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, who is battling internal and external dissent. While former chief minister Siddaramaiah raised issues of financial crunch, alleged unfulfilled electoral promises by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and donation collection for Ayodhya Ram Temple, Congress state chief DK Shivakumar said any disgruntled BJP leader was welcome to join the Congress.

Siddaramaiah said if Yediyurappa wasn’t able to handle the state finances, he should quit in favour of someone who has the authority to do so. The Yediyurappa government was battling a shortage due to a reduction in revenue inflows from the centre. He has made several trips to Delhi seeking funds.

To add to his woes, Yediyurappa is also facing heat from the Panchamasali sect of the powerful Lingayat community, which is demanding an increase in reservation. One seer at the Panchamasali reservation rally on Sunday said there were several other Lingayat political leaders in the state, questioning the 77-year-old leader’s status as their representative. Yediyurappa’s task has been complicated even more since Vokkaliga, Valmiki and Kurubas too are seeking a change in their reservation status.

The state government is scheduled to address the media on the issue on Monday. Karnataka Congress president, D K Shivakumar said the party will make its stand on issues like reservation clear in the coming days and invited all disgruntled elements within the BJP to join the Congress. Sharath Bachegowda, the legislator from Hosakote and son of BJP's Chikkaballapur member of parliament, is scheduled to join the Congress party later this month.

Also Read: New quota requests add to Karnataka's existing pile

Opening up another front, Siddaramaiah had questioned the collection of donations for the construction of Ayodhya Ram Mandir.

“We are also building a Ram Mandir in our village. Even we have faith in God. Our beliefs are our personal issues and should not be used as a political tool. It is unfortunate that @BJP4India leaders are using the Ram Mandir construction for their political benefits,” Siddaramaiah said on Saturday.

K.S.Eshwarappa, senior BJP leader and cabinet minister on Sunday hit out at Siddaramaiah's remarks. "Who is he to ask for an account?," Eshwarappa asked.

Another former chief minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy, who has allied with the BJP in the upper house of the state legislature, has also questioned the collection of donations in the name of the temple. He alleged he had been threatened over donating for the cause.

Siddaramiah also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging he had made false election promises."The synonym for lie is Narendra Modi. His speeches before elections and today's conditions are completely opposite of each other. People who chanted Modi, Modi have been duped. His true colours will be exposed by the Congress," he posted in Kannada on Twitter with a hashtag #BJPFailsIndia.

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