Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar on Monday rejected allegations that his party was targeting Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with the ‘PayCM’ campaign, because the latter is a Lingayat.
He said the Chief Minister is targeted, as he is the head of the government and will have to bear responsibility for its deeds.
“Has he (Bommai) become the Chief Minister on the basis of his Lingayat caste? He is in power as per the Constitution. We are targeting the government and he is the head of the government,” Shivakumar told reporters.
He was responding to Health Minister K Sudhakar’s claims that Congress was targeting Bommai because the Chief Minister is a Lingayat.
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Quoting past instances, Sudhakar has alleged that it is the “constant approach” of the Congress to target the chief ministers who are from the dominant community.
“They (Congress) did the same thing when Veerendra Patil (Lingayat) was the CM. Those who are good administrators, that too chief ministers from the prominent Lingayat community, are their target. Everyone is watching it… Congress always does it, they always target major communities,” Sudhakar has said.
“This is not the first time,” he has said, adding that even former chief minister Kengal Hanumanthaiah, a Vokkaliga (another dominant community in the state), was not spared.
The Veerashaiva-Lingayat community to which Bommai belongs is considered to be the BJP’s core vote base, and they are estimated to constitute about 16 per cent of the state’s population.
“Have you ever seen a former Chief Minister paste posters? It is shameful,” Sudhakar further said referring to Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah.
‘PayCM’ is a campaign targeting the government on the issue of corruption including the 40 per cent commission allegation made by the Karnataka State Contractors Association.
As part of the viral campaign, posters with Bommai’s face on a QR code were pasted in different parts of the city, Congress leaders including Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar among others had taken part in it.