New Delhi: Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna, the 83-year-old Congress politician from Karnataka, has been in different posts at various levels and at different times – as legislator, assembly speaker, minister, deputy CM, CM, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha member, governor of Maharashtra and Union minister of external affairs.
Although lying low for some years, he has been in the news during recent months. Over the past year, some disgruntled legislators and partymen have been hovering around him for solace and guidance.
He recently met party president Sonia Gandhi and discussed the political situation and ways and means to rejuvenate the party in the state. Ever since he has been making public appearances in his home state in a prominent way.
Earlier this week, Krishna arrived here to take part in a function held at India Habitat Centre. He has extended his stay indefinitely. Earlier there were rumours that he might be asked to take over the CM’s charge from the present incumbent, Siddaramaiah.
Now informed sources have revealed that in fact he has been lobbying for a seat in Rajya Sabha. Having studied Law, besides in India, in the Southern Methodist University and George Washington University – with a Fulbright scholarship to his credit – he is considered to be an effective orator and parliamentarian.
The sources also say that Krishna would find it an easier going to get into the Rajya Sabha than win an assembly poll.
With the current political equations, Congress can easily win two seats in the upper house. Given the closeness he enjoys with the Gandhi family, Oscar Fernandes is sure to get top priority. Krishna seems to have set his eyes on the second seat.
Although they are political rivals, Krishna and JD(S) national president and former PM H D Deve Gowda, both belonging to the influential Vokkaliga community, last week shared the same dais at a function in the state and showered praise on each other.
Krishna is said to be brokering a deal with JD(S) for its votes for Rajya Sabha election due soon. He has sent feelers to the party high command that if JD(S) agreed to favour with its surplus votes, Congress could win three seats. Hence, he is prepared to accept the third seat if the first two are filled by others.
But some party insiders are opposed to his nomination as a candidate because of the age factor as also the need to groom younger leaders.