Virtual slugfest in Cong over Siddaramaiah’s birthday bash

06:00 PM Jul 14, 2022 | PTI |

There seems to be a virtual slugfest within the Congress between those organising senior leader Siddaramaiah’s 75th birthday bash and those calling it ”personality cult,” with its reception committee head H C Mahadevappa on Thursday stating that none of the organisers were ”toad-eaters”.


The former Minister clarified that the celebration is not by the Congress or under its symbol, but by the former Chief Minister’s wellwishers, friends, supporters and workers in the party.

Siddaramaiah’s supporters and well-wishers, including several senior Congress leaders and former ministers, are organising a massive convention at Davangere on August 3, which is also being seen as a show of strength by his camp, as he turns 75, ahead of 2023 Assembly polls.

Several party old guards, including State Congress chief D K Shivakumar, are said to be not at ease at the bash, which is likely to be attended by national leader Rahul Gandhi, as they feel it is aimed at projecting Siddaramaiah.

”I’m not sure who is saying what, but none of us in the committee (Siddaramaiah-75 Amrut Mahotsava committee) which is responsible for organising this celebration are either toad-eater or those who follow personality cult. We are firm believers of the Constitution and follow Ambedkarism,” Mahadevappa said in response to a question.


Speaking to reporters here, he said everyone is fully aware of the fact that indulging in personality cult or being a toad-eater would pave the way for dictatorial politics.

”The celebration is not being organised to glorify Siddaramaiah,” he said, as he recalled the Congress Legislature Party leader as a farmer, farmer-activist, socialist, fighter with morality, language activist, economist being a Finance Minister, and the Chief Minister who fulfilled the promises made to people.

The comments came a day after Shivakumar’s brother and Bengaluru Rural MP D K Suresh openly expressed concern over the personality cult in the party at the preparatory meet for the birthday bash and cautioned that it should not send out a ”wrong message” ahead of the Assembly polls.

Former party president and ex-Deputy Chief Minister Parameshwara too said the Congress is a party that has flag-bearers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and the celebration should demonstrate our commitment towards the party. ”There shouldn’t be any scope for doubt or suspicion.” Both Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah are nursing Chief Ministerial ambition in the event of the party coming to power.

Calling Siddaramaiah as an honest, efficient and effective politician and administrator, Mahadevappa said the birthday bash is to encourage the youth, the leadership such as his which is committed to secularism and equality, and not to indulge in any kind of personality cult.

”Siddaramaiah in fact had not given a go-ahead for this bash for long…but as he completes 75 years and 40 years of political life which is a milestone and exemplary to all, and there is nothing else in it…,” he said, adding that there is no intention to send out any other message or to embarrass the party or anyone.


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