Bengaluru/Davangere: With the Congress warning him for his “completely unwarranted” and “inessential” statements, party leader and MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan on Tuesday said he has only got to know about it through the media, as he is travelling, and will look into to it once back in Bengaluru.
Reminding about “Lakshman Rekha” of the party’s discipline and ideology, AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala, in a letter to Khan, has said that his recent public remarks are completely unwarranted and in poor taste.
“I have not received any notice, I have seen it in the media, it is not a notice, it is a letter…I haven’t received any so far, as I’m travelling. Without looking at it, I can’t react. I’m in Davangere, will be travelling to Chitradurga later, once I go to Bengaluru, let me see,” Khan told reporters.
To a question that KPCC President D K Shivakumar is not reacting to anything regarding him, he said, “He is the President, big man, what is there to react (about me).” Khan’s recent claims about Muslims outnumbering Vokkaligas in Karnataka has stirred a controversy, with it taking the shape of “community politics”.
Khan had made this claim, while reacting to party’s state President D K Shivakumar’s attempt to consolidate the Vokkaliga community. Shivakumar, who is a Vokkaliga, had recently called on the community, which forms a major vote bank in the old Mysuru or Southern Karnataka region, to support his Chief Ministerial bid.
Shivakumar and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah have been engaged in a political one-upmanship for months now, as both are Chief Ministerial aspirants.
Surjewala in his letter has said, “Unwarranted and uncharitable comments help no one except to create avoidable controversies and bitterness. Regrettably, your inessential public statements have ended up creating unnecessary fault lines.” He said no Congress leader should make remarks that go against the party’s “foundational ideology” of “inherent inclusiveness away from the divisions of caste and religion”.
Reacting to the AICC letter to Khan, Shivakumar said, “I have seen about it through the media, I have got the information. He (Surjewala) will take whatever action has to be taken against whoever is concerned.” Khan has been openly making statements projecting Siddaramaiah as the next Chief Minister, in the event of the party coming to power after the 2023 Assembly polls.
Though Siddaramaiah has been maintaining that the party’s newly elected legislators and high command will decide on who will be the Chief Minister, Khan has been openly making statements in favour of his leader, ignoring warnings of disciplinary action, leaving the party virtually divided.