Infighting threatens to upset Cong calculations in K’taka ahead of LS polls

Spread the love

Infighting threatens to upset Cong calculations in K’taka ahead of LS polls

Bengaluru: At a time when the BJP and JD(S) have come together and the inauguration of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is appealing to the emotions of Hindus, the Congress, which trounced the saffron party in the Assembly elections, is appearing vulnerable following infighting within the party.

After CM Siddaramaiah-led state cabinet withdrew consent to the CBI inquiry against Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar in a DA case everything looked fine. At a time when the display of solidarity was required, the grand old party seemed to be mired in internal strife.

A dinner meeting attended by prominent Dalit leaders, Minister for Home Dr G. Parameshwara, Minister for Cooperation K.N. Rajanna, Minister for Social Welfare Dr     H.C. Mahadevappa, Minister for Food K.H. Muniyappa at the residence of Minister for PWD Satish Jarkiholi has exposed the differences within the party.

After the meeting, the ministers and other leaders made a demand for more DyCM posts in the state to achieve victories in more seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

However, it is an open secret that the proposal is also targeted at curtailing the influence of DyCM and State Congress President D.K. Shivakumar who is on par with CM Siddaramaiah.

Minister Mahadevappa, a prominent Dalit leader from Mysuru district and close associate of CM Siddaramaiah maintained that there is nothing wrong in placing demand for more posts of DyCMs. Those who deserve it and have experience can stake a claim for it. “It’s not about caste, it’s about capacity and experience,” he underlined.

K.N. Rajanna, a prominent lower-class leader, who challenged and ensured the defeat of former PM H.D. Deve Gowda in the last Parliamentary elections in the Tumakuru MP seat, maintained the party should allot DyCM posts for different communities. “We have to wait till the high command’s decision,” he stated.

Mass leader from north Karnataka, Jarkiholi has already placed the demand for three DyCM posts before the high command during his trip to New Delhi. He had stated that in the wake of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, he had discussed making Dalit and minority leaders DyCM’s.

It is clear that the ruling Congress party in Karnataka remains a divided house. DyCM Shivakumar in his attempt to become the CM for the last 2.5 years is focusing on winning more than 15 Lok Sabha seats to stake the claim for the post of CM. Siddaramaiah noticing the moves in this regard had earlier brought up the Dalit CM debate within the party and now is bringing focus on the creation of more DyCM posts to tame Shivakumar, sources said.

On the other hand, the BJP has managed to assuage rebel leaders with the intervention of the high command. MLA Basanagouda Patil, and former Minister V. Somanna, who used to issue challenging statements to Vijayendra have gone quiet. The BJP has now turned offensive towards the ruling party.

Interestingly, former PM H.D. Deve Gowda had vowed to defeat Congress in the state. “We want to defeat Congress. There should be no argument in this regard. Seat sharing will be looked after later,” he said.

“I have governed the country without compromising a bit on secular ideals. You (Congress) and the INDIA bloc have humiliated Deve Gowda. I am telling you today, we are determined to see Congress in Karnataka must be defeated and see the era of Congress under CM Siddaramaiah and DyCM D.K. Shivakumar should be over,” Deve Gowda charged.

Pointing to the Maharashtra crisis when the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government was toppled, Karnataka BJP President B.Y. Vijayendra said that anytime the state Assembly election can be held in the state.

It is to be seen how the Congress high command which had ensured harmony between CM Siddaramaiah and DyCM Shivakumar, handles the situation. The core strength of Congress lies in the unity of both leaders. The opposition knows it very well and is waiting for the right opportunity to strike. Former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy had stated that there are Ajit Pawars and Eknath Shinde in Karnataka politics.

The political scenario is going to heat up in Karnataka much more after the Lok Sabha election than in the run-up, experts say.

Spread the love