Dalit CM possible only in Congress: L Hanumanthaiah

Dalit CM possible only in Congress, says L Hanumanthaiah

According to Hanumanthaiah, the Dalit CM issue was not a new one

L Hanumanthaiah. Credit: DH File Photo

The CM candidate debate in the Congress seems to be taking a new turn, with Rajya Sabha member L Hanumanthaiah batting for a Dalit to occupy the top post. 

“It is our wish that a Dalit should become the chief minister, but talking about this now is irrelevant,” Hanumanthaiah, a Dalit himself, told reporters.

“The discussion on who should be the CM will happen only if the party gets a majority in the (next) election.”

According to Hanumanthaiah, the Dalit CM issue was not a new one.

“Also, if a Dalit has to become the CM, it’ll be possible only in the Congress. But the right time has yet to come. And, it’s not the Congress’ culture to announce a CM candidate before the election,” he said. 

The discussion around a Dalit becoming the next CM is seen as a counter to the ambitions of the leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah and KPCC president D K Shivakumar to be the chief minister.

A recent meeting between senior leaders K H Muniyappa, G Parameshwara (both Dalits) and B K Hariprasad had fuelled speculation that a ‘third front’ is in the making to mount pressure on the high command to consider a Dalit as the next CM.

Mocking the Congress, Revenue Minister R Ashoka said the Congress’ house now had four doors.

“One wants a Dalit CM, one a backward class (Kuruba), one Vokkaliga and there’s a fourth door opened by M B Patil, who says a Lingayat should become the CM,” he said. 

AICC spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa demanded a high-level probe into allegations of irregularities in the land sold to the Ram temple trust.

“Harish and Kusuma Pathak buy the land for Rs 2 crore, which is then sold to the temple trust within five minutes for Rs 18 crore. The trust bought another piece of land from those two people for Rs 8 crore,” Kalappa said. 

Kalappa gave the state government a week's ultimatum to change the design of the upcoming Shivamogga airport that resembles a lotus, the BJP's symbol.

"If the decision isn't withdrawn, we will launch a legal battle," he said. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox