A spat in State Congress unit has come out in the open after Siddaramaiah’s aide and senior Congress leader MB Patil took serious objection to Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar’s comments that Higher Education Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan met him to seek “protection” against raising public issues. The former home minister in Siddaramaiah’s cabinet on Wednesday said he would take up the matter and discuss it in the party’s forum and added that the comments were wrong and unfair. “I have not met Ashwath Narayan. But there is nothing that I should not be meeting him. This is a personal issue. I also visited (Basavaraj) Bommai’s house … what is in it? That is our personal relationship,” he told reporters.
“Now, our party president has said this. Hasn’t he visited any rival leaders’ homes? Haven’t rival leaders visited his house? Like this, I have many examples before me. I have taken Shivakumar’s comments seriously. I will discuss this in the party’s forum. Making light comments should not happen … This is not fair,” he said. Patil, who is also Chairman of Congress Campaign Committee. Argued that in what capacity can he give protection to Ashwath Narayan. Because he is neither a chief minister nor home minister. “He said I have to give protection to him. In what capacity should I give? Am I CM or a home minister?
His (Shivakumar) statement is not right,” he stated. Shivakumar earlier alleged that Ashwath Narayan met Patil seeking protection requesting him. That the Congress should not do anything against him. Ashwath Narayan too rubbished Shivakumar’s statement as a lie. “It is a baseless allegation. I did not meet Patil, and why will I seek protection from him? I am part of the government. If I want protection, it will be given to me by our government, not Congress leaders. This statement of Shivakumar indicates his mindset,” he said. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said it is an internal matter between Patil, Shivakumar and the Congress party. For the past few days, Shivakumar had been targeting Ashwath Narayan. He had accused the minister for allegedly influencing the CID probe into the PSI recruitment scam.