Siddaramaiah’s remark on CM post triggers speculation

Siddaramaiah’s remark on CM post triggers speculation

Coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah hinting at second innings as the chief minister, has set off speculations in the political circles that the Congress, which is the majority stakeholder in the coalition government, may claim the Chief Minister’s post after the Lok Sabha polls. 

While addressing an election rally at Siruguppa in Ballari district on Friday, the Congress leader said he will be the next chief ministerial candidate. Though Siddaramaiah’s close aides dismissed his statement as only an effort to woo the backward class votes in the elections, it is said he has something up his sleeves.

It is speculated that Siddaramaiah would start nudging the party high command to take the reins of power from the JD(S) partner after the Lok Sabha polls. Before that to happen, he is now cleverly positioning himself as a chief ministerial aspirant, sources in the Congress said.

It is learnt that many of his followers in the Congress have told Siddaramaiah that installing a Congress chief minister would give an advantage to the party to prepare for the next Assembly polls in the event of it happening well before the five-year term.

The party will be able to create a positive mood by announcing pro-people measures if it is in the driver’s seat. Playing the second fiddle,
as it is doing now, will not benefit the party much in the long run.

The Congress is facing the heat of dissidence from its leaders and workers for aligning with the JD(S). It has done a considerable damage to the party over the past 10 days. So much so that many of them have started leaving the party. The Congress endured it with an intention to check the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.

The big task after the Lok Sabha polls is not only to set the house in order but strengthen the party.

At the same time it is important for the party to remain in power along with the JD(S) till the next Assembly polls. If not immediately, the transfer of power from the JD(S) to the Congress is necessary in the interest of the party, the Siddaramaiah followers explained.

However, the Congress sources said that it is easier said than done. The party is now a divided house. Vokkalinga leaders of the party such as Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar may not readily agree to it. For the party is likely to face the Vokkaliga ire if Kumaraswamy is asked to make way for Siddaramaiah, who is a Kuruba. One of the reasons for the party’s poor performance in last year’s Assembly polls is Vokkaliga angst.

Moreover, there are many seniors in the Congress such as G Parameshwara and Shivakumar aspiring to become chief minister, the sources said.

On the other end, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said that there was nothing wrong in Siddaramaiah aspiring to become the chief minister again. This is seen as an indication to the JD(S) being ready to face any eventuality.