New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday said the 2023 Karnataka assembly elections will be contested under the leadership of state Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
The statement assumes significance as it comes amid continuing attack by the Congress that has termed Bommai a “puppet CM”.
BJP National General Secretary and the party’s Karnataka in-charge, Arun Singh, said there was “no truth” to the speculations being fuelled by the Congress that Bommai will be removed.
“As a prabhari (in-charge) I am telling you this and you should rely on my statement. I have said 100 per cent that we will contest the next election under the leadership of Bommai. He is a common man, he is doing very good work for the farmers, youth, SC, ST and we will come back with a full majority. We have a target of 150 seats and we will achieve it too,” Singh said Friday.
“This is nothing but something created by Congress leaders D.K. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah because they don’t have any other issue. Congress is a leaderless party, they don’t have any issue to raise. They don’t have any agenda against the BJP. So with a plan they are trying to create such an issue that CM is being changed. But there is no truth in this,” Singh added.
His statement comes at a time when talks about leadership change in the Karnataka government has led to confusion among party workers, ahead of the crucial assembly elections.
The Congress and JD(S) had a coalition government in the state for 14 months after the 2018 state assembly election, but it collapsed after the loss of a no-confidence vote in 2019, paving way for the formation of a BJP government.
CM Bommai had recently come under fire from the BJP leadership following the murder of youth leader Praveen Nettar in the Dakshina Kannada district. Soon, BJP minister Umesh Katti had suggested that he would be in the CM’s race, in the event of a change in chief ministership.
Meanwhile, a section of BJP leaders were also of the view that even though Singh has said Bommai will not be replaced, it looks inevitable.
‘Congress trying to create confusion’
The speculation over a change of guard gained momentum following the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Karnataka recently.
The Congress, which is the principal opposition in the state, has fuelled rumours of a leadership change through a number of posts on social media platforms, including Twitter. Earlier this month, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had also visited Karnataka to participate in a number of programmes and plan for the elections.
Singh hit out at the Congress and said the opposition, which is a divided house, was trying to create an issue out of nothing.
“Congress is a divided house and they are not on the ground, they are just trying to create confusion. Congress party believes in creating conspiracies in Karnataka,” he said.
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