HUBBALLI: Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday said the party high command will decide on its chief minister after winning the 2023 assembly polls in Karnataka, and whomever they name, every one will abide by it. The Leader of Opposition in Karnataka also made it clear that he has no interest in national politics and will remain in the state. “High Command will decide. Congress party is a national party. Who made Basavaraj Bommai the CM? Did MLAs do it? It was the (BJP) high command and RSS which decided. Similarly, we too have the high command,” Siddaramaiah said in response to a question on whether he will become CM if Congress wins assembly polls. Speaking to reporters here, he said, on the basis of the opinion expressed by the newly elected MLAs, the high command will decide on the new chief minister. “Whoever is made (the CM), we will accept it.” Reiterating that the high command has not invited him to national politics and the issue was not discussed during his recent meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the former Chief Minister said that he too was not interested in it and wants to continue in state politics. “I’m now 74 years old, I may be in politics maximum five more years, I am fine with Karnataka, I’m happy with Karnataka politics,” he said. It is no secret that Siddaramaiah is nursing his ambition to become chief minister for a second term if the party wins the next assembly polls in 2023. However, with state unit President D K Shivakumar also being seen as a strong contender for the Chief Minister post, and his loyalists too like Siddaramaiah’s, already openly pitching for their leader as CM face, according to party sources, there is growing political one-upmanship between the two leaders and the issue may become contentious in the days to come. In response to a question the Congress Legislature Party leader expressed his opinion in favour of Rahul Gandhi taking over the mantle of the Congress party, as its national President. “Several working committee members have expressed their opinion that he (Rahul Gandhi) should become the party president, he has said that he will consider it. My opinion is also that Rahul Gandhi should become AICC president, I have said it a number of times,” Siddaramaiah said. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday decided that elections for the new Congress president would be held between August 21 and September 20 next year with a majority of party leaders urging Rahul Gandhi to assume the top post, a request he said he would consider. Continuing his attack against the RSS, Siddaramaiah said, it is a communal organisation, which is in favour of ‘Manusmriti’, and anti-minority, hence he is opposed to it, and his opposition to the organisation is not to appease anyone. “Not now, since I joined politics in 1971, I’m opposing (RSS). It is because, it is a communal organisation. RSS began in 1925, their activities since then show that they want to divide the country and the society and not to unite it,” he said. Further questioning the claims of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ by BJP which follows RSS ideology, he asked “is there a single Muslim MLA from that party? RSS say they are social organisation, why there are no Muslim or Christian member in RSS?”

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