K’taka Cong leader Hariprasad raises banner of revolt, challenges CM Siddaramaiah
Bengaluru: Karnataka infighting has come out in the open with the Congress MLC and influential leader B.K. Hariprasad, who missed the cabinet berth, challenged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and called upon the backward classes to unite to know the conspiracy against them.
The speech of Hariprasad, who is close to the Gandhi family has assumed importance in the present political scenario in Karnataka.
He was speaking at the community leaders meeting of Ediga, Billava and Deevara castes at a private hotel on Friday.
By the time, the Congress government was appearing to have settled the differences between CM Siddaramaiah and DyCM D.K. Shivakumar, the banner of revolt against CM by one of the senior leaders is worrying Congress ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
Hariprasad hails from the influential Ediga community and presently works as the leader of the opposition in the Legislative Council.
Known for fire-brand speeches against RSS and Hindutva, Hariprasad was an aspirant for the plum cabinet post. “Whether I get the cabinet berth or miss it is a different matter. I have played a role in the selection of five Congress Chief Ministers. Chhattisgarh CM is not my relative. I have made a backward class leader as the CM. I very well know how to make the CM and at the same time I also dethrone them,” Hariprasad stated.
Hariprasad further stated that he will not beg for the positions. “I will take on the fight. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue politics for 49 years in Bengaluru. I would have been shooed away.”
“Our people join their hands, we should not get exploited,” he stated indirectly targeting CM Siddaramaiah.
The leaders belonging to Ediga, Billava, and Deevara communities are not coming forward. Despite all attempts, they are not able to come up in politics.
“By seeing this, suspicion rises on whether the community leaders are becoming victims of a conspiracy. CM Siddaramaiah belongs to the backward class. We supported him in 2013 to get united. After extending support, we don’t plead or beg for positions. We had asked for a Rs 5 crore grant for Koti Channayya park in Karkala town of Udupi district, CM Siddaramaiah had promised to provide funds. But, to date, it is not granted. He is not in a position to help me politically. I will support him. Backward classes are not confined to one caste. We come under different sections and castes. Everyone should get equal rights,” he said.
Hariprasad further stated that in 11 assembly seats Ediga, Billava and Deewara community are deciding positions.
“I was also on the Election Committee. Four candidates from these communities missed the tickets. The tickets were given to minority candidates in Mangaluru North and South seats. In the pretext of allowing tickets to minorities, our candidates are denied tickets to contest elections,” he charged. The future generation should be benefited,” he said.
He (Siddaramaiah) has been telling religious pontiffs that there is already a minister from the community and there is no need for the other, the veteran leader alleged. “We have to organize, otherwise we will be exploited”.
The development has left Congress leadership worried as sources explain that there are clear signs of rebellion against CM Siddaramaiah.
Congress party is not in a position to afford infighting at this stage when the stage is all set to take on BJP at the national level, deriving core strength from Karnataka. It is to be seen how the high command deals with the situation.