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‘Rift wide open’: Senior Congress leader Hariprasad attacks CM Siddaramaiah

Senior Congress figure B.K. Hariprasad, in a speech on Saturday, appeared to indirectly criticize Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Without explicitly naming anyone, Hariprasad’s comments seemed directed at Siddaramaiah. He expressed his dissatisfaction over the Congress party’s choice for the Chief Minister’s post and the Deputy Chief Minister’s post, particularly highlighting the exclusion of Dalit leader G. Parameshwara and ST leader Satish Jarkiholi.

Hariprasad, an MLC who has been reportedly discontented for not being included in the Karnataka cabinet, delivered his remarks during a gathering of like-minded communities, including Ediga, Billava, Namdhari, and Deevara.

While refraining from a direct response to Hariprasad’s remarks, Siddaramaiah, speaking in Dharwad, asked if his name was mentioned and stated he would not react to general statements.

Hariprasad also taunted party leaders for invoking the legacy of former Chief Minister Devaraj Urs, emphasizing that mere association with his car does not make one Devraj Urs. He stressed the importance of implementing Urs’ principles and ideologies.

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Hariprasad further referred to the contribution of community leaders like Janardhana Poojary, S. Bangarappa, and Kagodu Thimmappa, asserting that true social reformists do not need flashy possessions and implying that some individuals who wear luxury watches and traditional attire cannot claim to be true socialists.

Notably, Siddaramaiah was embroiled in controversy in 2016 over a diamond-studded Hublot watch he received as a gift. He later handed over the watch to the assembly speaker.

Hariprasad also highlighted the issue of representation, criticizing the Congress for not appointing Dalits, minorities, or individuals from backward classes to key positions, despite their significant role in bringing the party to power in Karnataka. He expressed his commitment to working for the most backward classes and communities, while acknowledging that he would not hold ministerial or chief ministerial roles in the current government.

This critique by Hariprasad is not the first time he has targeted Siddaramaiah, as his previous statements on ministerial and chief ministerial posts had caused unease within the Karnataka ruling party. Both Hariprasad and Siddaramaiah hail from OBC communities, specifically Ediga and Kuruba, respectively.

*With PTI Inputs

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Updated: 09 Sep 2023, 10:56 PM IST

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