It all started with Congress chief DK Shivakumar hugging Siddaramaiah on the podium in front of a roaring crowd soon after wishing and felicitating him on his birthday, much to Rahul Gandhi‘s delight.
I thank former @INCIndia President Shri @RahulGandhi, AICC General Secretary Shri @kcvenugopalmp, @KPCCPresident Sh… https://t.co/i1AgcoqmVZ
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) 1659543989000
“I’m really happy to see Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar hugging each other on stage,” Rahul Gandhi began his speech addressing a gathering of nearly five lakh people who had come from across the state to celebrate the former CM’s birthday, titled ‘Amrut Mahotsav of Siddaramaiah‘. He said Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have done tremendous work for the Congress and the state. “Together they can do wonders. The Congress is completely united now to defeat the BJP and RSS in Karnataka,” he added.
The former AICC president also promised to provide a clean government if the party is voted to power in the 2023 assembly elections. “We will provide a government that will care and work for all sections of society.”
Endorsing Gandhi’s views, Siddaramaiah said the talk that there is a rift between Shivakumar and him is an “illusion and creation” of opposition parties.
Shivakumar, in his speech, said the Congress has decided to fight the next assembly elections in Karnataka under a collective leadership. “Siddaramaiah is not only a leader of Ahinda groups but of all people in the state. Let us all work under his guidance and face the elections under a collective leadership,” he exhorted. No speaker called for Siddaramaiah to be named as the next CM. Party sources said a strict warning was issued against making such statements.
Referring to the recent three murders in Dakshina Kannada,Rahul Gandhi said: “When we ask people in the US what they think of Karnataka today, they will tell you that Karnataka never witnessed the kind of violence it is facing today when Congress was in power,” said.
Greeting Siddaramaiah on his birthday, he said: “He is one person who looks younger as he grows older. I don’t usually attend birthday celebrations. I have come because I share a special bond with him.”