BENGALURU: Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah on Monday said that Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi should take up the responsibility of the Congress president and lead the Grand Old Party as early as possible as acting president Sonia Gandhi was not keeping well.
Speaking to the media here on Monday, Siddaramaiah said, “I have suggested to Rahul Gandhiji that he should become the president of the AICC. I have been saying this for a long time.” “It is not that Soniaji is incapable of discharging her duties... but it is because she is not keeping good health. That is why I suggested Rahul to take over as chief as early as possible,” the former CM said. Sources said when AICC appointments are made, they inform the candidate about it, but they do not generally take his or her consent as has been demonstrated by many examples.
On murmurs in the media that he was offered a national role in the party, Siddaramaiah clarified that he did not discuss national politics during his recent meeting with Sonia. “The proposal to accommodate me in Delhi AICC is imaginary,” he added. Hitting out at the state BJP over the infighting among ministers over the most-sought after Bengaluru city in-charge portfolio, he said, “The main reason for it is their urge to make quick money through corruption. What else can we expect from the BJP?”
On shortage of coal in Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said the Centre had clarified that there was no shortage of coal in the country. “If the state is saying their is shortage, then first we have to understand if it is an artificially scarcity. Karnataka had never faced power crisis till now. We always had excess production compared to the demand. As our thermal plants are closed, the requirement of coal is not high,” the former CM said. He further said that the move to privatise power stations would result in injustice to farmers as free power given to them would be stopped.
He also said that the State Government should demand its rightful share in GST compensation and tax devolution. “We should not begging. It is our right,” he said. Siddaramaiah, who had led the party in recent protests against soaring fuel prices, said an additional Rs 3,000 crore was collected as tax between April and September compared to the same period last year. “Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin has cut tax by Rs 3. Our government should reduce it by at least Rs 10,” he said. “Let him (PM Modi) reduce excise duty by 50%. This is what I call criminal loot,” he said.”What is the relation between Covid-19 and fuel price hike? Even during Covid, business tycoon Adani’s income increased four times... but poor families are going bankrupt,” he added.
Karnataka in-charge secretaries appointed
Bengaluru: The Congress on Monday appointed Kuldeep Rai Sharma and Raminder Singh Awla as AICC secretaries attached to the General Secretary in-Charge of Karnataka. Awla is an MLA from Punjab and Sharma is MP from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.