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Congress Criticizes Karnataka President Over Vokkaliga Reaction -by Ecork

Zameer Ahmed Khan has said that it is impossible to reach the post with support from a community.

Bangalore:

A Congress leader in Karnataka, who belongs to the Siddaramaiah camp, has been criticized by the party leader for his “Muslims than Vokkaligas” comment, which has sparked a major political debate in the state ahead of next year’s assembly elections.

Zameer Ahmed Khan, reacting to Mr Siddaramaiah’s rival DK Shivakumar’s chief ministerial aspirations, has said that it is impossible to reach the post with support from only one constituency.

After a day of firefights, a letter from Congress spokesperson and senior leader Randeep Surjewala warned Mr Khan to be “careful” and stick to the party line.

“His recent public remarks were unconvincing and in poor taste… and ended up creating unnecessary mistakes,” Mr Surjewala wrote.

“The ideological foundation of the Indian National Congress is its inherent unity, away from the divisions of caste and religion. No member of the Congress party should make comments or statements against an all-encompassing grain of thought that runs through our veins,” the letter added.

Mr Khan was attacked after Mr Shivakumar, a member of the politically powerful Vokkaliga community, sought support to achieve his goal.

“Nobody can become CM with support from one community, everyone will have desire (to become CM) not wrong… is it possible (to become CM) only by bringing all communities together? I also have desire to become CM, the percentage of my community is more than that of Vokkaligas. Is it possible for me to become CM, just with the support of my community? It is not possible,” Mr. Khan had said.

Vokkaliga leaders from the state-led BJP have hit out at Mr Khan, saying his comments are an attempt to undermine the constituency. Reports say that Nirmalanandanatha Swami, a prominent Vokkaliga seer, has expressed his displeasure to the Congress leaders.

Karnataka is one of the few states where the Congress is comparatively strong. But another tussle has arisen ahead of next year’s assembly elections over the top spot if the party wins. While former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is a strong contender, the party’s state unit leader DK Shivakumar has made the first move.

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