Siddaramaiah is CLP leader

3-year wait for coveted post ends

Siddaramaiah is CLP leader

By virtue of the Congress being the largest Opposition party in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah will automatically occupy the seat of Leader of the Opposition in the Lower House, a post vacated by his predecessor Mallikarjuna Kharge, following his election to the Lok Sabha and induction into the Union Cabinet.

For Siddaramaiah, it is the end of a three-year wait for a “coveted post” promised by the party high command after he quit the JD(S) and joined the Congress in 2006.

It is also the beginning of a new chapter for Siddaramaiah as he faces the tough challenge of taking forward a “top-heavy” party that has witnessed repeated debacles in polls held during the last one year.

At the meeting held at Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office in the presence of AICC general secretary and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, senior party leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa proposed Siddaramaiah’s name as the CLP leader.

Shivashankarappa’s proposal was seconded by 10 CLP members, including party state working president D K Shivakumar, G Parameshwara and T B Jayachandra, both of whom had evinced interest to contest for the post.

With no other candidate in the fray, CLP secretary C S Nadagouda declared that Siddaramaiah had been elected unanimously even as hundreds of supporters outside danced, burst fire crackers to celebrate their leader’s election victory.

The CLP meeting was preceded by Azad holding confabulations with KPCC president R V Deshpande and Shivakumar at the Kumara Krupa guesthouse.

Sonia’s wish

Azad is said to have sought the opinion of the leaders on the acceptability of Siddaramaiah by the legislators as CLP leader. Azad also held one-to-one discussions with Jayachandra and Parameshwara.

There was speculation, for a brief period during the day, that an election could be held for the post as Jayachandra is said to have insisted on his candidature.
Azad is learnt to have told him that AICC president Sonia Gandhi was keen to keep her assurance of giving a prominent post to Siddaramaiah following which Jayachandra decided not to contest.

As the scene shifted to KPCC office, Siddaramaiah’s election became a foregone conclusion.

Azad said Siddaramaiah had a great responsibility to play an effective role as the CLP leader and guide the party’s legislators  in the right direction.

“As the leader of the opposition, Siddaramaiah has to check the corrupt elements and communal forces in the first BJP government in South India”, Azad said.

Siddaramaiah told party legislators that he would take everyone together.
“Let there be an iota of doubt about my way of functioning. I may be brash in my style but I will be unbiased”, said the senior Congress leader.

Other prominent leaders present at the CLP meeting were Union Law and Justice Minister M Veerappa Moily and Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa.

Comments (+)