Cong fingers crossed as ex- CM ‘readies to strike back’

Cong fingers crossed as ex- CM ‘readies to strike back’

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah. DH image.

Speculations are rife in the Congress camp on former chief minister and legislature party leader Siddaramaiah’s next political move.

The lobbies of the two Houses at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha here were abuzz on Thursday with rumours that Siddaramaiah had something big up his sleeves. And that he was waiting for the right time to strike. This aroused lot of curiosity in the BJP camp too.

Siddaramaiah, who had left for Malaysia ahead of the session, cut his trip short and returned to Bengaluru on Wednesday night two days earlier than scheduled. He will be in Belagavi to attend the legislature session only on Monday.

Sources close to Siddaramaiah said the former chief minister no longer wants to keep a low profile in the Congress and is keen on taking control of the party and have a firm say in the coalition government.

It is no secret that there is a tug-of-war in the party between Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara over many issues. Siddaramaiah is also not on good terms with senior party leader Mallikarjuna Kharge. 

Parameshwara managed to get his confidante K Prathap Chandra Shetty installed as the chairman of the Legislative Council, thereby undermining Siddaramaiah, whose candidate S R Patil was the frontrunner to bag the coveted post. This is said to have triggered the former chief minister into action mode.

Siddaramaiah is learnt to be in close touch with disgruntled leaders in the Congress, who are unhappy over not being inducted into the Cabinet – like the Jarkiholi brothers of Belagavi and the MLAs from Ballari.

Sources said Siddaramaiah wants to cash in on the fact that the survival of the coalition government was more important for the JD(S) than next year’s Lok Sabha elections. The former chief minister is keen to weave these developments to his advantage and keep the Congress and the JD(S) on tenterhooks.

As a close aide put it, Siddaramaiah is looking to exact revenge for his embarrassing defeat in the Chamundeshwari constituency in the Assembly polls held in May this year. For this, he has blamed not just the JD(S), but also a section of the Congress.

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