Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president Dinesh Gundu Rao on Wednesday said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is emerging as national leader who can take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Siddaramaiah has not only steered the state on the path of development in the past four-and-a-half-years, but also has successfully stalled the BJP's growth in Karnataka, Rao told reporters here.
Rao's statement raised eyebrows in the state Congress circles. It is speculated in the party that Siddaramaiah may shift to the national politics after the Assembly polls.
Rao said the party did not have an able leader to take on Modi. So, it had become difficult to stop him in other states. Lalu Prasad of RJD, Arvind Kejriwal of APP and Mamata Banerjee of TMC had succeeded only to a certain extent in this regard.
"Siddaramaiah is not interested in national politics. This was the reason he did not take part in the Congress' campaign in other states, including the recently held Gujarat Assembly polls. Congress president Rahul Gandhi is happy with the performance of Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah has grown in stature and strength through his aggressive attack against the BJP," he stated.
With Siddaramaiah growing in strength, voices of dissent within the Congress have died down. Everybody has accepted his leadership and the party leaders have now resolved to fight the coming elections unitedly. Nobody will quit the Congress in the coming days, he said.
Rao said the sitting MLAs who have spoilt their image will not get the ticket to contest the Assembly polls. The party high command is gathering information in this regard, he added.