Amid speculation on him joining the BJP following his meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Health Minister K Sudhakar, Congress Working Committee member K H Muniyappa on Friday said there is no question of him leaving the party.
The former Union Minister, upset with the decision of the State Congress leaders to admit a couple of local leaders in Kolar into the party without his knowledge, expressed pain over Ghulam Nabi Azads decision to quit the party. He said, “He (Azad) was not treated well.” “There is no question of leaving the Congress. Im active in the party and will continue to remain so…no one has invited me to join other parties, I will remain in the Congress,” Muniyappa said in response to a question on speculation that he would join other parties like the BJP.
Speaking to reporters here, he clarified that he met the Chief Minister with a petition seeking funds and land for the development of “Adi Jambava mutt”, along with the seer of the mutt and community leaders.
As the land is required in Chikkaballapura district, he said he met Minister K Sudhakar, who hails from the district, and added that “I have got a positive response…no other discussions have taken place.” Calling Ghulam Nabi Azad, a senior leader who had served and built the party for 50 years from Youth Congress days till now, Muniyappa, in response to a question, said, “He (Azad) is a great person, who worked for the party coming to power in the States; he was given responsibility. Im pained as he was not treated well, he has taken this decision. This should not have happened.” Muniyappa, a veteran leader, who has been a member of Lok Sabha for seven times, expressed displeasure at State Congress president D K Shivakumar and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah for keeping him away while deciding on admitting local leaders M C Sudhakar and Kothanur Manjunath into the party.
He is also said to be upset at few of his own partymen for causing his defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and particularly angry at former Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, who is Srinivaspura MLA in Kolar district, for the the way in which Congress affairs has been managed in the district, which has for long been a Congress stronghold.
Muniyappa had openly hit out at Ramesh Kumar on several instances.
Noting that Shivakumar, along with a few other senior leaders, had recently met him and held discussions, Muniyappa said he would remain active in the party and had even participated during the protest against EDs questioning of Congresss national president Sonia Gandhi, and also during Independence Day march.
Asked whether he was still upset against leaders following the induction of M C Sudhakar and Kothanur Manjunath without informing him (Muniyappa), he said the leadership in the State would have taken certain decisions aimed at strengthening the party, and that the high command is aware of his displeasure, and that would decide.
“In the interest of the party, I will have to bear these things. The high command is aware of it and AICC general secretary in-charge of the State Randeep Singh Surjewala has spoken to me, and that I will wait for their decision in coming days,” he added. Muniyappas daughter Roopakala Shashidhar is a Congress MLA from KGF (Kolar Gold Fields) constituency in Kolar district.
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