Congmen fear party’s growth will be stunted if CM gets 2nd term

Congmen fear party’s growth will be stunted if CM gets 2nd term

Even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah hinted that he would not be able to become chief minister for a second term, a few Congressmen feel that if the party wins a simple majority and if Siddaramaiah becomes chief minister again, the growth of the party would be stunted.

A second term for Siddaramaiah would mean that the emergence of other leaders would be checked, say insiders. The CM, on Sunday, said, he had no qualms if the party high command chooses a ‘Dalit CM’.

A KPCC member said Siddaramaiah had been trying to convince the party high command that the Congress will cross the magic figure of 112. “However, since the polls were announced and AICC president Rahul Gandhi started touring the state, it became amply clear that Siddaramaiah’s claims had no ground. But, Siddaramaiah stood by his claims in view of instilling confidence among the party workers,” he said.

A prominent Congress leader from Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency, one of the two seats from where Siddaramaiah is contesting, said, all CM aspirants in the party have their own network in the villages under Chamundeshwari segment. “The aspirants had summoned their followers and had issued instructions to ensure the defeat of Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah, who was aware of the conspiracies against him, had counter plans. However, the damage could not be completely averted. So, Siddaramaiah is a bit nervous. He is not cent percent sure of a victory in Badami either,” he said.

A former associate of Siddaramaiah, who is now with the JD(S), said, except for Siddaramaiah, no Congress leader has spoken ill of the JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda or state president H D Kumaraswamy. “The Congress leaders, nursing aspirations to become chief minister, only hope that their party does not get a simple majority. Most of them are in touch with either Deve Gowda or Kumaraswamy. The Congress leaders hope that Deve Gowda blesses them. If the Congress does not get a majority, Deve Gowda might play the role of the Congress high-command,” he said.

Unethical politics

A BJP leader, a candidate in the Mysuru rural constituency, said, it is unethical politics. “I was made a scapegoat to enable a tough fight between the Congress and the JD(S). The JD(S) has entered into a secret pact with the BJP leaders. The BJP leaders have helped the JD(S) wherever it was strong. But, will the JD(S) form a coalition with the BJP after the polls? Deve Gowda would not agree for that. So, the JD(S) would go with the Congress and form the government, if it is a hung Assembly,” he said.

A KPCC office-bearer said, the post of the KPCC president, which has already lost its sheen, will become a ceremonial position if Siddaramaiah becomes chief minister again. “He has already reduced the influence of the leaders like Mallikarjuna Kharge, G Parameshwara, D K Shivakumar and K H Muniyappa. If he gets a second term, he will grow into a larger than life leader. So, there will be no second or third line leadership. It will stunt the growth of the party,” he said.

Meanwhile, with an audio clipping, supposedly of a conversation between Shravanabelagola Congress candidate C S Puttegowda and a party leader, going viral, there are discussions about the Congress leaders colluding with Deve Gowda to become chief minister. “PWD Minister H C Mahadevappa, who now does not wish to be described as the lieutenant of Siddaramaiah, is also an aspirant, in case he wins the polls,” said a close confidant of Siddaramaiah.