When wannabe CMs Siddu, Katti were candid enough
The Assembly was witness to an interesting discussion on the chief ministerial ambitions of some of the senior members.
During the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address to the Legislature, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said the Governor’s address and the budget lacked merit as the BJP government had been reduced to a minority.
On being repeatedly goaded by Siddaramaiah about his government lacking the numbers, Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa stood up to defend his party MLAs. The jousting between the two Kuruba leaders brought to the fore the ambitions of Siddaramaiah and Agriculture Minister Umesh V Katti, both of whom declared that they were chief ministerial aspirants.
Katti went a step further and admitted that while he aspired to rule “Akhanda Karnataka,” he would want to see his son as chief minister of North Karnataka. †
Stating that his political prospects lay in the hands of the Congress high command, Siddaramaiah said nobody would make Katti the chief minister.
“You may just have five years to retire, but I have 20 more years. I will ensure that I become the chief minister of Akhanda Karnataka in this time. I am young and I am healthy,” was Katti’s repartee.
When Eshwarappa wondered about Congress leader C M Ibrahim’s meeting with KJP leader B S Yeddyurappa, a defensive Siddaramaiah retorted that Ibrahim’s meeting with the KJP leader had nothing to do with him.
“Ibrahim and I aren’t twins. I haven’t given him the power of attorney. We take independent decisions. But what about Katti and Murugesh Nirani (Industries minister)? I am curious to know when they will defect to KJP. Their silence on the issue indicates that they too will soon defect like their former colleagues C M Udasi and Shobha Karandlaje,” he said.
When Home Minister R Ashoka said that a section of Congress MLAs themselves were showing signs of defection, Siddaramaiah said the Opposition wasn’t responsible for the State’s governance. “We may have rebel MLAs in the Congress, but you people are running the government. There is no clarity on who is in and who is out,” he said.