Discontent among Congress leaders comes to the fore

Discontent among Congress leaders comes to the fore

S R Patil resigns as KPCC working president


Simmering discontent among senior Congress leaders has come to the fore with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president S R Patil announcing his resignation on Sunday.

This comes even as former minister D K Shivakumar continues to express his angst at the way the Congress-JD(S) coalition government is taking shape.

While Patil said his resignation was about owing “moral responsibility” for the party’s poor performance in North Karnataka, it is learnt he was unhappy that he had been sidelined. Patil tendered his resignation on May 25, two days after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, also the KPCC president, took oath. He, however, made the resignation public a day after Parameshwara said the high command would take a call on the suggestion that those who had served as ministers in the past be left out of the Cabinet expansion for now.

Apparently, leaders such as Patil and Shivakumar are miffed because Parameshwara kept them away from discussions and meetings in the aftermath of the Congress joining hands with the JD(S). It is also said that the other KPCC working president, Dinesh Gundu Rao, is also miffed at being sidelined.   

It is also learnt that a section of Congress leaders holds a grudge against Patil for having helped former chief minister Siddaramaiah register a narrow victory in Badami. “I camped in Badami from the day Siddaramaiah filed his nomination. Had he lost from both Badami and Chamundeshwari, it would have caused irreparable damage to the party. I don’t want to comment more on this,” Patil said.

Patil’s name was doing the rounds among those who could get a ministerial berth from the Congress’ share of 22 berths. Even Shivakumar, who wanted the energy portfolio, was taken aback when it was announced that the JD(S) would get it. 

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the party high command would have to sit down with Patil and find out why he was dissatisfied. On Kumaraswamy getting a full five-year term as CM, Kharge said it needed no further discussion. “It’s the decision of the party. Individual opinions don’t hold.”

Patil told reporters that as KPCC working president, he was tasked with the party’s affairs in North Karnataka. “There was a lot of expectation from me. I went to all corners of North Karnataka and there was good response. But the party did not win many seats. Owing moral responsibility, I have tendered my resignation,” he said. Asked about KPCC president G Parameshwara becoming deputy CM despite the party losing, Patil said: “You should ask Parameshwara. I have my set of ideals.”