A day after his comments on becoming Karnataka chief minister set the tongues wagging, senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah sought to clarify, saying he only meant his party coming back to power in next assembly elections.
"You can think whatever you want, but I said we will come to power in next election," he told reporters here. Addressing party workers in Hassan district yesterday, Siddaramaiah reportedly said if people wish, he will become chief minister again.
The former chief minister's remarks kicked up a controversy with some seeing it as having an unsettling effect on the JDS-Congress government. Asked if he wants to be Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah today said if people blessed him, he would want, but after the end of this government's term.
"If people bless me, I will want to become the chief minister, but not now. After five years when next election is held," he said. Earlier, Siddaramaiah's comments doubting the longevity of the JDS-Congress ministry and his differences over budget presentation had cast a shadow on the coalition.
Meanwhile, responding to Siddaramaiah's comments, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy today said "Anybody can become a CM in this democracy. It is a democratic system."
Later referring to media reports that some legislators would topple his government by September 3, he said the present JDS-Congress ministry would not fall because he knows the art of running it.
"If some people think they can destabilise me, they can't. I know how to run the government," he said at an event here. "There are media reports that some legislators would topple the government by September 3. I will leave it to people's conscience - which September 3 are they talking about," he said.
Kumaraswamy said he was not worried about saving chief minister's seat, but concerned about rendering service to the people. KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao said Siddaramaiah as of now had no plans to contest election in future, but did not know what will happen in future.
JDS Secretary General Kunwar Danish Ali said there was no harm if Sidaramaiah wanted to be the chief minister if Congress comes back to power. Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar said it was left to the party high command to make Siddaramaiah next chief minister.
The Congress and JDS forged a post-poll alliance to form the government after the assembly elections in May last threw up a hung verdict.