Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president DK Shivakumar said on Monday his party will not project any chief ministerial face for the next Assembly election in the state & there was no rift within the grand old party. Stating that there will be a collective leadership, Shivakumar said he only had political differences with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) & Janata Dal- Secular.

Shivakumar’s statement came a day after Congress leader & former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, both of whom are in Delhi, denied speculation of any difference with the former. “We are together. We are building the party together… there’s no rift in Karnataka Congress,” he had said.

When asked about his meeting with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Shivakumar said talks were held about the party’s stand on the current political crisis in Karnataka BJP over the leadership issue. “There is a lot of trouble in Karnataka BJP. There will be a change of leadership. We had to plan our stand. A lot of people are trying to approach us and a lot of issues are there. We discussed all those issues as well as phone tapping,” Shivakumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Earlier, Shivakumar had said the Congress party’s ethos is to work together. “We are a national party. We believe in collective leadership. Even the elections will be contested this way. There are questions, but one or two individuals are not important. There are several leaders in the Congress, and we will go to the election together.”

Even as the party continues to sit in opposition ever since the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP overthrew a coalition government of the JD-S and Congress in July 2019, supporters of both Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah have been openly backing them as the Congress’ chief ministerial candidate for the next election.

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