First 'migrant' to head Cong govt in State

First 'migrant' to head Cong govt in State

First 'migrant' to head Cong govt in State

Despite being a relatively new entrant to the Congress, Siddaramaiah will be heading the party’s government that will be assuming office after nearly seven years.

He has spent the best part of his years as a politician in the anti-Congress camps, particularly Janata Pariwar. He joined the Congress barely seven years ago. Apparently, he will be the first ‘migrant’ who will be leading a Congress government in the State.
His saga with the Pariwar began in 1983 when he supported the first ever non-Congress government that came to power in the State under the leadership of Ramakrishna Hegde. In 1985, he joined the Janata Dal and remained with it till 2006.

He quit the JD(S) following major differences with his mentor H D Deve Gowda and his clan. The day he walked out of the Gowda camp, he knew his dream of becoming the chief minister was not an easy task but still possible if he is in an established party.

Hailing from the backward Kuruba community, he, for sometime spent his energy in strengthening the Ahinda movement that was taking shape. His goal was clear - to bring social coalition of castes of all oppressed castes. For Siddaramaiah, a socialist, building Ahinda movement was a big challenge. And, he enjoyed it too for sometime. This he did while being the deputy chief minister in the Dharam Singh cabinet and also while holding the post of State JD (S) president. The shrewd Gowda knew that Siddaramaiah would emerge as a parallel force to his party.

Ahinda movement

Siddaramaiah did not budge when Gowda told him not to identify himself with Ahinda. He attended a huge rally of Ahinda in Hubli and that was the end of his association with the JD(S). Gowda suspended him from the party for his ‘anti-party activities’ and also got him removed as deputy chief minister. Siddaramaiah was cut up with Gowda as he had learnt that the JD(S) supremo never lobbied with Sonia Gandhi on his behalf for the chief minister’s post.

In July 2006 he quit as the JD(S) MLA. The Ahinda movement was picking pace across the state. But, suddenly he chose a short-cut to remain in politics by joining the Congress. This hard decision he took when he realised that sustaining such movement was difficult without sound financial support. The Congress had decided to encash the support of backward classes enjoyed by Siddaramaiah.

 He contested on Congress ticket from Chamundeshwari in 2006. He somehow managed to retain the seat in the by-election with a margin of just 257 votes. In 2008, he had a comfortable victory.

The party rewarded him with the CLP leader post.  When he joined the Congress, he made some of the JD (S) MLAs to quit to be with him in the new party.

Siddaramaiah, known for his aggression, had often said that in case the Congress comes to power, it would establish a separate court to conduct trials against BJP leaders who are facing corruption and denotification cases. He had also often registered his protest against the BJP government’s liberal way of granting crores of rupees to religious institutions. He had lead a padayatra of the party MLAs and workers from Bangalore to Bellary to protest against illegal mining.

In the recent civic elections and the Assembly polls, Siddaramaiah teamed up with KPCC president G Parameshwara and campaigned extensively for the party nominees, while rest of the leaders confined themselves to their districts.

Best and worst conduct

Vidhana Soudha has seen his best and worst conduct. As finance minister and stickler to rules, he had received kudos. But, he shocked every one on October 11, 2010 when he registered his protest against posting of police in large numbers in the Vidhana Soudha. He stood on a table in the Assembly and in a raised voice questioned the Speaker’s decisions.

He had rebelled against the Congress too when the party decided not to field his close associate C M Ibrahim for the MLC elections. He had met Sonia to offer his resignation as the CLP leader. But, he continued in the post following a truce between him and the

Born: Aug 12, 1948, at Siddaramanahundi in Varuna hobli, Mysore district
Education: BSc, LLB from Mysore University; was a practising advocate in Mysore, and also taught law for some time.
Entry into politics: As the Mysore Taluk Board member in 1978.
Legislative Assembly: In 1983, by contesting on the Bharatiya Lok Dal ticket from the Chamundeshwari constituency.
His first: First president of Kannada Watchdog Committee (Kannada Kavalu Samiti) set up to supervise the implementation of Kannada as official language.
Career: Six-time MLA,
lost once.
Portfolios held: Twice deputy chief minister; animal husbandry, sericulture, transport, finance
Record: Has presented seven state budgets
Achievement: Value-added tax (VAT) was implemnted when he was the finance minister in 2005.
Family: Married to Parvathi with two sons Rakesh and Dr Yathindra.

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