Supporters of Housing Minister M H Ambareesh on Wednesday condemned the ‘hidden hand’ statement made by former external affairs minister S M Krishna. While campaigning for Congress candidate Ramya in Srirangapatna taluk on Tuesday, Krishna had said Ravindra Srikantaiah failed to get a ticket for Srirangapatna Assembly constituency as a ‘hidden hand’ (referring to Ambareesh) was against him. In a press release, Akila Karnataka Ambareesh Abhimanigala Sangha state president, Beluru Somashekar, asked Krishna who was responsible for the defeat of the Congress candidate in Srirangapatna in 2008. Ambareesh had lost to JD(S) candidate Ramesh Bandisiddegowda in 2008 following which he claimed that the anti-party activities of Srikantaiah were behind his loss. He also said lack of support by followers of Krishna in the 2009 Lok Sabha election led to Ambareesh’s loss to JD(S) candidate N Chaluvarayaswamy. “Krishna is from Maddur taluk from where he won and became chief minister. However, for the last two terms, no Congress candidate won from there. Krishna should be ashamed of this,” Somashekar added.
Former chief minister S M Krishna, concerned over his ‘hidden hand’ comment snowballing into a major controversy, spoke to Housing Minister M H Ambareesh and clarified that he had never targeted anyone in his public life. During a telephonic conversation, Krishna also expressed ‘regret’ if his statement hurt the veteran actor. Reciprocating the gesture, Ambareesh said he has nothing against Krishna. A release from Krishna’s office said Ambareesh also recollected how both their fathers were friends. “We are second generation friends and there is no need to regret on anything,” the release quoted Ambareesh.