Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah termed the growing clamour within his party to make him chief minister once again as an expression of supporters' "affection", but said he still stands by his word about not contesting the next assembly polls.
The Congress Legislature party Leader said he saw nothing wrong in the demand being made by his supporters.
"I have made it very very clear that the chief minister's post is not vacant now (hence no question about me becoming CM). What our people are saying is, after next election I should become chief minister once again," Siddaramaiah said.
Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, he said: "Is there anything that I should not become (Chief Minister) if people give their blessings? Where is that I should not become, if people bless our party?"
"Have they (supporters) said I should become now? In the 2023 election if people bless Congress, Siddaramaiah may become chief minister - this is what they are saying. What is wrong in that?" he asked.
However, Siddaramaiah said, he stands by his earlier word, not to contest the next assembly polls.
"I have said, I will not contest next election, but is there anything that they (supporters) should also say what I have said, they are expressing their opinion.
"I have expressed my opinion that I will not contest next election, even today I will abide by it," he said.