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Siddaramaiah denies rift with Shivakumar

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday refuted claims of a rift between him and Karnataka Pradesh Congress president DK Shivakumar
By HT Correspondent, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON JUL 21, 2021 12:26 AM IST

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday refuted claims of a rift between him and Karnataka Pradesh Congress president DK Shivakumar.

Addressing media during a press conference in New Delhi, which was attended by both Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah said: “There are no rifts within the party. There could be small differences in the party, which could be resolved. In a democratic party, these are common… there are no differences that could harm the party. Rahul Gandhi has asked us to work together. He said the (political) atmosphere in Karnataka is good, and we should return to power. We are following that advice,” Siddaramaiah said on Tuesday.

DK Shivakumar said the Congress party’s ethos is to work together. “We are a national party. We believe in collective leadership. Even the elections will be contested this week. There are questions one or two individuals are not important. There are several leaders in the Congress, and we will go to the elections together.”

Speaking to the media earlier on Tuesday, Siddaramaiah said that DK Shivakumar and he are together. “We’re building the party together. There’s no rift in Karnataka Congress, and the party will come back to power. Why should there be a rift? We are fighting against the corruption of BJP,” Siddaramaiah said.

Siddaramaiah had come to New Delhi, following a call from the party high command. The leaders are expected to meet party president Sonia Gandhi amid a speculations power tussle. The meeting is expected to be regarding the appointment of office-bearers and strategies for the upcoming Assembly elections in 2023.

“I am in Delhi because Rahul Gandhi wanted to meet me by 4 pm today (Tuesday), this is what KC Venugopal told me. I don’t know what subject matter he is going to discuss,” Siddaramaiah said. “There is no rift…I have no problem with any leader. We want to prepare to help people to throw this Govt out of power…this meeting had nothing to do with constituency or power,” he has said on arrival.

Congress leader’s Delhi visit assumes significance as a section of MLAs and leaders including Chickpet MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan and Kampli MLA J N Ganesh are openly backing him to lead the state in the event of the Congress getting a majority in 2023 polls.

On Monday, Siddaramaiah in a response to a question whether the party was ready in case the BJP is unable to handle its internal crisis, said “Congress is ready to face elections at any point of time. I don’t feel that an early election will take place because if Yediyurappa is removed, another person will be made the chief minister.”

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