Bengaluru, Jun 25 (PTI) Karnataka Congress President D K Shivakumar on Friday asked his partymen to be cautious while welcoming people from other parties, saying the new entrants should not 'spoil the party' by indulging in groupism.
The statement seems aimed at Chamarajpet legislator B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, who is at the forefront of the faction in the party, projecting Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah as the Chief Ministerial face for the 2023 assembly polls, which has irked Shivakumar, who is also nursing similar ambitions.
Khan, who was earlier with JD(S) and once considered the trusted lieutenant of its leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, joined Congress with seven others from the regional party in 2018 and has since been a Siddaramaiah loyalist.
'Both from JD(S) and BJP, some workers are desiring a good change in the state.
There are people who are educated and have put in struggle, who want to join our party, accepting our ideology and respecting the leadership of Sonia Gandhi (Congress President). Send a proposal with the list of such people,' Shivakumar told party workers.
'If you feel that the party will benefit from such people wanting to join the Congress, induct them...but they should not come and indulge in groupism.
Don't induct people who come from other parties, indulge in groupism and try to spoil our party.
Induct those who are ready to leave 'personality worship' behind and do only 'party worship',' he added.
The issue of CM face for the assembly polls has widened fissures within the party and also triggered a game of one- upmanship between Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah.
Khan's repeated statements projecting Siddaramaiah paved the way for other loyalists of the former Chief Minister to make similar open statements, despite diktats from AICC General Secretary in-charge of the State, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Shivakumar against it.
Following Shivakumar's statement asking Siddaramaiah to rein in MLAs projecting him as next CM, the latter on Thursday asked legislators not to make such statements and said the high command would take a decision on the matter at an appropriate time.
Siddaramaiah himself had joined the Congress with his followers in 2006 after he was expelled from the JD(S).
Further, indicating that leaders from other parties, especially from BJP, are in touch with him, Shivakumar said, 'I don't want to divulge as to how many are in touch with me.
BJP legislators and Ministers are aware that their party will not come to power once again, for any reason.
In such a situation we have to utilise the opportunity, organise our party and bring our party to power.' He said the party would replace people not actively involved in organisational work and that efforts were on to make Congress a cadre based party. PTI KSU RS APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR