INTERVIEW | Bommai working under three high commandments: Siddaramaiah
Express news service
BENGALURU: Opposition leader Siddaramaiah expressed confidence that Congress would win over the Sindagi Assembly and Hanagal Assembly segments, saying there was “a huge anti-titular” against the BJP. While defending his controversial comments comparing the RSS to the Taliban, he said he would run for Badami in 2023 and that there is no question of changing constituencies. He even called Basavaraj Bommai the weakest CM caught between three higher commands – the BJP, the RSS and the BS Yediyurappa.
How do you assess the chances of the Congress in Hanagal and Sindagi?
Congress will surely win the by-elections. There is huge opposition to BJP due to its inability to understand the needs of the common man. Rising prices for gasoline and other commodities have shaken household finances. The government has also failed completely in dealing with the pandemic and providing flood relief.
A redesign is underway in Congress after 12 years. In the middle of this, there is talk of disputes between the chairman of the KPCC, DK Shivakumar and you?
It is all speculation. We are working together to strengthen the party at all levels and denounce the failures of the BJP. A lot is happening on the ground and the result will be visible in the next elections.
How do you react to the developments within the party in Punjab?
The party high command will be more aware of real developments and decide what is best for the future of our party and our people. A Dalit has been appointed CM in the Punjab and I am sure he will lead the government successfully as the Assembly elections approach.
How do you rate Basavaraj Bommai as a CM, now that he has completed 2 months?
He’s just a tampon from BS Yediyurappa. I have no hope in him and I don’t believe the magic will happen under his rule. Corruption is still going on and I’m sure people will notice it. Initially, I expected him to work on strengthening democracy, but the session of the Assembly which has just ended has revealed their insecurity. He is the weakest CM, torn between three high commands – the central party leadership, the RSS and BS Yediyurappa.
Yediyurappa said Modi’s name alone was not enough to win all the polls. Do you think Modi’s popularity has waned?
I want to look at it from two angles. First, Modi’s popularity has definitely waned after 7 years of dismal failure, his megalomaniac projections have now collapsed. No amount of PR is going to bring him back in a good light. Yediyurappa may have figured it out. Second, Yediyurappa is angry with the high command for making him resign. He may be waging an internal war.
Are you planning an early election in the state?
We are currently working on the 2023 polls and we will not engage in any activities that may be aimed at destabilizing the government. But the BJP leaders themselves are more likely to try to bring in the government.
Is there any speculation that you are going to change your riding?
I am elected from Badami and will run again from there.
Did you refer to RSS as following Taliban culture?
My opinion is more reinforced on the basis of media reports. We have seen incidents of violence initiated by the RSS and in the morality police. They talk about changing the Constitution and do not believe in secularism or universal brotherhood. They are the perfect embodiment of Taliban culture.
Why do you think BBMP polls are delayed?
The BJP is afraid of losing the BBMP elections. They are trying to change reservations and rig the voting structure. We will certainly fight their conspiracy and win the BBMP to ensure sustainable and inclusive development.
The JD plan to win 123 seats. How do you see it?
Let’s wait and see.