Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah (Mint file)
Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah (Mint file)

Suspense continues over naming of Congress' leader of opposition in Karnataka

  • While Siddaramaiah is the front runner for the coveted, no formal announcement has been made
  • Siddaramaiah is currently the leader of the Congress legislature party

Bengaluru: The Congress party is yet to name its leader of opposition for the Karnataka legislative assembly, with the winter session scheduled to begin on Thursday in Bengaluru.

While Siddaramaiah is the front runner for the coveted, many think, no formal announcement has been made probably because of vehement opposition from other senior party leaders.

Though a section of his many detractors admit that Siddaramaiah is the only one who can take on the fight with B.S. Yediyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), they also fear an erosion of their own importance under the Kuruba leader often accused of being partial to supporters and vindictive with disgruntled voices.

"Right now we have no one else," said one senior Congress leader, requesting not to be named.

Siddaramaiah is currently the leader of the Congress legislature party (CLP) that is scheduled to meet later on Wednesday ahead of the winter session in which it will look to corner the BJP government over inadequate flood relief efforts from the Centre.

Despite losing from his home constituency of Chamundeshwari in last year's assembly elections, Siddaramaiah managed to retain his position at the top of Congress party affairs, with him being named the chairman of the Coordination and Monitoring Committee in the coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy.

He was later accused of destabilizing the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S)-Congress coalition government, allegedly to settle personal scores with former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy.

The discord between the Siddaramaiah and Deve Gowda led to both sides trying to sabotage each other's Lok Sabha election campaign, with both parties reduced to just one seat each, while the BJP bagged a record 25 out of 28 parliamentary seats in the state.

He is also said to have influenced the appointment of Dinesh Gundu Rao as state party president, further angering seniors in the party including Mallikarjun Kharge, H.K. Patil, G. Parameshwara, and D.K. Shivakumar among others.

The importance given to Siddaramaiah, who joined the Congress only in 2006, has added to the sourness of party veterans.

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