Congress will welcome Opposition legislators if they resign first, says Minister G. Parameshwara

Congress will welcome Opposition legislators if they resign first, says Minister G. Parameshwara

The Congress will welcome leaders from other parties, if they resign from their membership of the Legislative Assembly or Council, G. Parameshwara, Home Minister and former KPCC president, said in Belagavi on Friday.

He told journalists at Belagavi airport in Sambra that the Congress would admit any leader who would want to join it, after accepting its ideology. “However, we will not invite anyone. We have not done so now,’‘ he said. “The Congress government in Karnataka is strong and has a majority in the Assembly. We do not need to conduct any operation to poach MLAs from other parties. However, if some leaders want to join the Congress, we cannot say no. We will admit them if they accept our ideologies, leadership, policies and programmes,’‘ he said.

To a query, he said he had no idea about who was planning to join the Congress. “I have read press reports that some leaders who had joined the BJP after quitting the Congress were facing problems in BJP. If that is true, they may leave the BJP and join the Congress. But we are not engineering defections,” he said. He said that no legislator had contacted him with an intention to join the Congress. “It is possible that some may have contacted the KPCC president,” he said.

To a query, he said that there was no need to raise questions of a Dalit becoming CM of Karnataka now. “The Congress is running a pro-people government in the State and introducing several developmental and welfare programmes, including fulfilling the five guarantees. Other issues are irrelevant now,’‘ he said. He dismissed as ‘media-created rumours’, reports of a change of leadership in the State after two and a half years.

To a query on the letter written by some Dalit leaders against the possible nomination of Sudham Das to the Legislative Council, Dr. Parameshwara said that he had no knowledge of the existence of the letter. He admitted, however, that there was a feeling among senior Dalit leaders that the party should have favoured a dedicated party worker from the community over Mr. Das. “But what we feel is not important. What is important is what the party leadership thinks about such issues. If such ideas are acceptable to the party high command, we will have to accept them,” he said.

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