A slight man, dressed casually in denims, Rakesh Sidddaramaiah was indistinguishable from the dancing, screaming hordes that descended on the house of the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly on Friday.
The eldest son of Chief Minister designate Siddaramaiah, he says he prefers to be in the background.
“As such, I have no political ambitions. I will join politics only if my father asks me to,” said the man credited with ensuring his father’s victory in Varuna, while he was touring the State campaigning for the party.
As his father battled for control at the Congress Legislature Party meet on Queen’s Road, Mr. Rakesh preferred to stay home and micro-manage arrangements for his father’s arrival.
“Arrange for a thousand cups of tea,” he yelled into his phone as firecrackers, drums and slogans blared in the background. “Chairs! We need more chairs…”
Speaking to journalists as he orchestrated the chores, he said his father was the biggest influence in his life. “From childhood, he imbibed socialist values in us. He often spoke to us about Basavanna and Ambedkar. Our upbringing was very simple and our lifestyle has always been understated,” he said.
“There have been many ups and downs in his public life, but he never let it affect family life. The only time we felt like he was deeply hurt was when he was expelled [from the Janata Dal (Secular)]. He would barely speak to us those days.”
“As a little boy, I used to crave for his attention. He was rarely home. But as I grew up, I realised that he belongs to the people and has more important things to do,” he said.
Asked about his reticent nature, he said: “Then you must meet my brother (Yathindra). He is even more shy. He just sticks to his [medical] practice.”