BENGALURU: A day after his comments on becoming Karnataka chief minister set the tongues wagging, senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday sought to clarify his statement, saying he only meant that his party would come back to power in the 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 JD(S)-Congress government.
Siddaramaiah today said if people blessed him, he would not mind becoming chief minister again, but only 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 JD(S)-Congress ministry and his differences over budget presentation had cast a shadow on the coalition.
Meanwhile, responding to Siddaramaiah's comments, chief minister HD 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 JD(S)-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.
JD(S) secretary general Kunwar Danish Ali said there was no harm if Siddaramaiah wanted to be the chief minister if Congress comes back to power.
Water resources minister DK Shivakumar said it was left to the party high command to make Siddaramaiah the next chief minister.
The Congress and JDS forged a post-poll alliance to form the government after the assembly elections in May threw up a hung verdict.