Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said he has no objections to the 75th birthday bash planned for Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, but his priority was celebrations to mark 75 years of India’s independence, as directed by the party high command.
Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have been nursing chief ministerial ambitions and are also working towards consolidating their clout within the state Congress, ahead of the 2023 assembly polls in Karnataka.
”…it is private, there is nothing wrong in our leaders’ birthday celebrations by their followers. Whatever benefits the party, I will stand by it and will also be a part of it as the party president, but the priority for me is celebrations of 75 years of India’s independence, it is a programme to be celebrated as per the directions of AICC President Sonia Gandhi,” Shivakumar said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said the entire Congress’ rank and file will on August 15 participate in a march as part of 75 kilometres of ‘padayatra’, planned by the AICC to mark 75 years of independence, which is the ”immediate priority”.
”…these birthdays’ definitely will go on as we have every year. I don’t have any objections or comments on that,” he added.
Siddaramaiah’s supporters and well-wishers, including several senior Congress leaders and former ministers, have planned a massive convention at Davangere on August 3, which is also being seen as a show of strength by the former CM’s camp as he turns 75.
Also, ‘Siddaramotsava’ is also planned to be organised in every district and assembly constituency, till September 3, aimed at projecting Siddaramaiah and his contributions, which is being seen as an attempt to send a message to both the high command and detractors within the party, ahead of polls, while consolidating his ‘AHINDA’ vote base.
AHINDA is a Kannada acronym that stands for ‘Alpasankhyataru’ (minorities), ‘Hindulidavaru’ (Backward Classes) and ‘Dalitaru’ (Dalits).
Siddaramaiah had recently said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has agreed to attend the big bash.