JD(S) Karnataka chief H Viswanath's remarks on Siddaramaiah's performance as Chief Minister in the previous government triggered a war of words between the two leaders today, with Mr Siddaramaiah saying he will raise it in the next Congress-JD(S) coalition coordination committee meeting.
The growing clamor within the Congress for CLP leader Siddaramaiah to become Chief Minister once again is the reason for the spat between two leaders, as the JD(S) President raised questions about his performance in the previous government and termed the demand as "chamchagiri" (flattery).
"Siddaramaiah has completed five years as Chief Minister. Le's see, its left to the people (to decide whether he should become CM once again)... Unnecessarily some of our friends (in Congress)... I should not use the word... but are speaking like chamchagiri," Mr Vishwanath said.
"What is so special (about Siddaramaiah's rule)...was his administration greater than Devaraj Urs? People remember Devaraj Urs even today after 30 years. Was there anything great that happened during his tenure to remember it for decades? What major developmental work happened? Nothing..." he added.
Terming the the clamor for Mr Siddaramaiah to become Chief Minister once again as "mischievous attitude", Mr Vishwanath said Congress lawmakers and ministers must stop it. They should not be an obstruction for coalition dharma by unnecessarily talking about the Chief Minister's post when it is not vacant, he said.
"You (Siddaramaiah) can become Chief Minister in 2022 (after the next assembly polls) if you want," he added.
Mr Siddaramaiah said Mr Vishwanath was speaking out of "jealously" and added that he would raise the issue at the next coordination committee meeting. "...I will talk about it in the coordination committee. I will not speak publicly on it," he said.
Noting that the SM Krishna government, in which Mr Vishwanath was also a minister, was defeated in the subsequent assembly election, Mr Siddaramaiah said "he (Vishwanath) is speaking out of jealousy. Don't give importance to what he says."
KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao said it is "not necessary" to talk of such things now as the Congress leadership had already clarified there would be no change in the Chief Minister.
"Also, those demanding that Siddaramaiah be made Chief Minister again have made it clear that they want to see him as CM after the next election," he said.