For Dr G Parameshwar, a 7-time KPCC president and first president to take the party to legislative election, the coming election is a challenge on many counts. Hence he is in a dilemma whether to contest or not the elections. Even if he decides to contest should it be from his home constituency or Pulikeshi Nagar in Bengaluru is another issue to resolve. He is familiar with the situation when one is unable to focus on one’s own constituency when the entire State’s responsibility is taken up. He has the bitter experiences of dreams unfulfilled. Hence he has decided to take a call on to contest or not by August end. In this state of mind Dr G Parameshwar spoke to Kannada Prabha and opened up about the relationship between him and Siddaramaiah that has changed for the better, the campaign called 'Once Again Siddaramaiah', Separate status for Lingayats, IT raid on Congress ministers and other issues that are ahead of him. Excerpts from the interview.

Elections are fast approaching. How is the compatibility between the Party and the Government?

There is good compatibility between Siddaramaiah and I. It is because of elections that I gave up the Home Ministry

You gave up or were you asked by the High Command to resign?

I had requested the high command to relieve me of Home Ministry in the event of an opportunity to continue as KPCC president. After my request high command asked me to resign. This is a development that I wished for. If I did not want to have two posts, high command would have asked me to resign as KPCC chief soon after getting Home portfolio. But that did not happen. Why? Because high command knows that I am capable. Though capable, during the election, it is difficult to handle both, hence I resigned. Now Siddaramaiah is supporting me to build the party.

Is CM taking you into confidence when taking decisions regarding separate status for Lingayat religion, which has significant effect on the party?

Political party cannot take a decision with regard to religion and it should not also. There are scholars, experts, legal experts, and religious leaders who wish for such a religious status. All of them should come together and take a stand and not a political party, this is my personal opinion. Congress party will not interfere in such matters.

But such a decision will affect the party’s future?

May be. But we do not interfere in that. Also the appeal for separate religion has been submitted to the State government and not to party.

Compared to previous elections, this time the post of KPCC president looks weakened. There are 2 executive presidents and a powerful CM.

I don’t look at it from that angle. Last election I was alone. This time I have 4 more along with me. This has strengthened me, not weakened. Four of us doing what one man was doing. This will definitely be more effective and efficient. Our aim is to bring the party back to power again. This system supports that.

But you also had a dream, what about it?

Wishes are definitely there. But all decisions need not be favourable to me alone. Just because of wish one cannot sit tight on it. I lost the previous election. Hence I lost an opportunity to contest for the post of CM. Had I won, I would be in the race. May be I would be the natural choice. Now the condition is not similar. In case such a situation arises, high command and legislators will decide. But just for this Siddaramaiah and I will not fight. That is a lie.

How did this magic happen?

See, we have been working together since past seven years. Hence Siddaramaiah and I have understood each other well. If we fight like BJP’s Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa what will be the difference between them and us? Then you may ask if we never had differences in our party. Maybe it was there long ago. To tell you the truth in the past 7 years Siddaramaiah and I have never had differences of opinion on a single issue.

Why there is a confusion about your contesting the election. Now, there are rumours that you want to contest from Pulkeshi Nagar in Bengaluru?

I have confusion regarding this. I will talk to high command and come to a decision by this month end.

Has DK Shivakumar’s status been elevated after the IT raid?

Who has given such ratings? Look, we are all in the field. Nobody can predict who will rise above and who will go down. Now, BJP’s Venkaiah Naidu who was a Minister has become vice-president. You call this promotion or demotion? It can be analysed in any which way one wants, isn’t it?

Congress ministers are targeted for IT raids. Will it not affect the party?

BJP is talking about DK Shivakumar’s IT raid. IT raids are a common occurrence. Shivakumar incident should be left to IT Department. But Amit Shah is trying to gain political mileage by mentioning it. BJP is agitating for DK Shivakumar’s resignation. For every action there will be a reaction. Hence Congress will also give a political reply for this.

Corruption cases of BJP leaders and legislators will be opened again?

I cannot tell you now, our mode of response. But we will give a fitting reply to BJP for sure.

After raid on DK Shivakumar, many of Congress leaders were afraid they too will be subjected to raid?

In some states in North India, BJP is indulging in the politics of threatening Opposition leaders. When seeing such incidents, it is natural to think in Karnataka too such an attempt will be made. However, none of our ministers are involved in corruption. If Central government and BJP think they can nail Congress ministers though IT raids, it is their imagination.

In case such raids prove the minister is corrupt?

In case it is proved that our ministers are wrong, party will take suitable action.

BJP is trying to create a crack in Congress Party.  Is it trying to attract influential leaders?

It is heard that BJP is trying to attract some Congress leaders by threatening. Nobody will go from Congress to BJP. Because next time also Congress is going to win. In fact there are several who want to quit BJP and come to Congress. It is not a suitable time or place to mention names and numbers.