Muralidhara Khajane

Srinivas Prasad, Vishwanath and Mahadevappa share Siddaramaiah’s concern

Issue to be raised at the party forum

MYSORE: The Congress’s pact with the Janata Dal (Secular) for the Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha elections has upset Congress leaders in Mysore region.

While former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has openly criticised the party’s stand, another senior leader and former Union Minister, V. Srinivas Prasad, has expressed displeasure over the development.

Former Ministers H. Vishwanath and H.C. Mahadevappa are also not happy with the party succumbing to the “pressure tactics” of former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief, H.D. Deve Gowda.

It is clear from the recent statements by Mr. Siddaramaiah that he is disturbed over not being made leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) and not being consulted on the tie-up with the Janata Dal (S).

Addressing presspersons in Mysore recently, Mr. Siddaramaiah said he had told the Central leader, Prithviraj Chavan, not to strike an alliance with the JD (S), as that would harm the party’s interests, besides sending a wrong signal to the people.

Mr. Siddaramaiah is upset as he was not consulted while selecting candidates for the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections.

“Mr. Siddaramaiah had recommended the names of former Union Minister C.M. Ibrahim and P. Kodandaramaiah for Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council seats, respectively,” a senior leader told The Hindu. There were reports that Mr. Siddaramaiah would revive AHINDA. Mr. Siddaramaiah’s intention to revive AHINDA has become a cause of concern for president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Mallikarjun Kharge.

Meeting

Meanwhile, Mr. Siddaramaiah has summoned a meeting of his close supporters and political aides in Bangalore on Monday.

Though Mr. Siddaramaiah and his supporters claim the meeting is to discuss the party’s future strategies, it gains significance in the wake of the recent developments.

Supporting the stand of Mr. Siddaramaiah, Mr. Srinivas Prasad said the Congress had not gained much by joining hands with the JD (S).

It was natural for Mr. Siddaramaiah to get upset, as he was opposed Mr. Deve Gowda.

“In fact, the Congress hasn’t benefited from the tie-up, and it is Mr. Deve Gowda who has gained from the deal,” he said.

Mr. Prasad said that many other leaders were also unhappy with the development and would raise the issue at the party forum.

The party high command had not been briefed properly about the consequences of joining hands with the JD (S). A team of State leaders would meet central leaders and argue against having an alliance with the Janata Dal (S) in the future, he disclosed.

Dr. Mahadevappa said senior leaders would raise the issue at the party forum.

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