Don't endorse ex-CM's views publicly: Cong

It was suggested in the meeting that only Parameshwara and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar should be authorised to speak on behalf of the party’s affairs.

All the 16 Cabinet ministers belonging to the Congress were instructed by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Thursday to toe the party line and focus on their departments, after former chief minister Siddaramaiah flexed his muscle by flocking with his confidant legislators, including two ministers.  

Parameshwara, who is also the KPCC president, herded the ministers at the party’s headquarters on Queen’s Road for a two-hour-long meeting, which came amid controversy created by Siddaramaiah’s video footage in which he doubts the Congress-JD(S) coalition completing its five-year term, and criticises Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s plan to table a full-fledged budget.  

Evidently, the idea behind the meeting was to convey the message that joining hands with the JD(S) was the party’s decision that everyone should accept, keeping the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in mind. The rift between Parameshwara and Siddaramaiah goes back a long way.

Apparently, it was suggested in the meeting that only Parameshwara and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar should be authorised to speak on behalf of the party’s affairs going forward.

“It was clearly instructed that only those holding responsible positions should speak, while others should refrain,” Parameshwara told reporters after the meeting.

“Siddaramaiah holds responsible positions. He’s the Congress Legislature Party leader and chairman of the Coalition Coordination and Monitoring Committee. Whatever statements he has made, we don’t want others to make statements to further distort and misinterpret them,” Parameshwara said. “But all that is left to the high command. Any differences between the leadership in both parties will be discussed in the next coordination committee meeting.”   

It is learnt that some leaders in the meeting disapproved of Siddaramaiah’s behavior. Sources said Parameshwara impressed upon the ministers that the party high command had taken note of the developments. He asked the ministers not to publicly discuss or endorse Siddaramaiah’s statements. “Ministers were told to focus on working efficiently in their departments and that the Congress should play its role well to ensure the coalition does well,” Parameshwara said. “We also discussed strategy for the Lok Sabha to win as many seats as possible.”

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Don't endorse ex-CM's views publicly: Cong

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