Bengaluru: Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah stoked a controversy by comparing Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to a puppy.
While addressing his party workers at Hagaribommanahalli in Vijayanagara district on Tuesday, Siddaramaiah said: "Basavaraj Bommai questions Congress about our guts and strength, but if you have the guts and strength, why are you like a puppy in Narendra Modi's presence? You shiver before the Prime Minister," Siddaramaiah said amid cheer from party workers.
Reacting to this unparliamentary comment, Bommai said he would take positives from it as a dog is a faithful animal and would continue to render services to the people.
"This shows his (personality). I am not going to contradict it. Dog is a faithful animal, I am faithfully serving the people of Karnataka. So even if they call me a dog, I will take the positive from it and will work for the people," he told reporters.
Bommai added that he would not divide society and lie as they have been doing.
Another BJP leader Prakash also flayed Siddaramaiah and said that the Congress leader is known for his loose tongue and irresponsible statements.
He said it is a highly deplorable statement by Siddaramaiah who has himself been a chief minister.
"Nowadays, the Congressmen are making highly derogatory remarks against BJP leaders. Earlier, Mallikarjun Kharge had made a similar statement. It is very sad (Siddaramaiah) was our chief minister," Prakash said.
Siddaramaiah also criticised Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for allegedly rejecting the interim report of the 15th finance commission which had recommended giving Rs 5,495 crore as a special grant to Karnataka.
But, Sitharaman refused the grant claiming that she cannot pay the said amount to Karnataka and asked to remove the recommendations while submitting the final report, he said.
"There are 25 BJP MPs from the state. Basavaraj Bommai, if you had guts, strength you should have got Rs 5,495 crore from the Centre," Siddaramaiah said.
Siddaramaiah also challenged Bommai to have a debate on development.
Replying to it, Bommai said whenever an occasion arrives for a discussion, the Congress leaders flee.
"Vidhana Soudha is the biggest platform for a debate. There were 15 days for discussions, but they did not use the opportunity, and now they are making statements for political reasons. In February too, they did fled from discussions," he said. (UNI)