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Won't contest but not averse to CM post: Siddaramaiah

Reiterating that he would not contest the next elections, coalition coordination Committee chairman Siddaramaiah also asked what is wrong if some Congress leaders express their individual wish to see him as the chief minister in 2023.

"I have never said that I will become the chief minister. When people say that I should be the chief minister in public meetings, I just reacted, saying I may become the chief minister if people bless the party next time. Why should I not become the chief minister again if people bless the Congress in 2023 elections?" he said.

Siddaramaiah told mediapersons here on Tuesday that he would not publicly discuss about state JD(S) president H Vishwanath's remarks against him and it would be discussed in the coordination committee meeting.

B S Yeddyurappa would become a laughing stock if he continues to say he would become the chief minister again now, as he got a chance, but could not prove majority, Siddaramaiah said.

Minister D K Shivakumar said he was not a sanyasi to say that he had no desire to become the chief minister, but he would wait for the party leaders' decision, if Congress wins the 2023 polls.

"I have no urgency. As a party worker, I will strive for the victory of the party, and let leaders take a decision. I perform my duties and the result is left to god," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar charged that Siddaramaiah had fixed a time-bomb to topple the coalition government, and it would explode with the May 23 election results.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah did not meet each other, though they were at the same hotel for around one hour.

On his way to Kundgol for the byelection campaign, Siddaramaiah visited a luxury hotel on Gokul Road, where Kumaraswamy was staying. However, they spoke over the phone, according to leaders present at the hotel.

"Kumaraswamy was getting ready and had no time for a meeting. Therefore, Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah discussed elaborately about all issues over the phone," Minister Bandeppa Kashempur said.

Later, at Aralikatti village, Siddaramaiah confirmed that they did not meet, but spoke over the phone.

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