Laiqh A. Khan
Congress leaders are charting out a plan to restart the movement in the State
C.M. Ibrahim says movement should be revived to counter money power during elections
Mahadevappa says it will instil confidence among marginalised sections of society
MYSORE: In the midst of speculation over his political future, the former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has come under intense pressure to revive the Alpasankhyataru, Hindulidavaru Mattu Dalitaru (AHINDA) which has been dormant for more than two years now.
Realising that AHINDA was Mr. Siddaramaiah’s trump card, Congress leaders rallying around the former Deputy Chief Minister are charting out a plan to revive the movement in the State.
The move comes at a time when Mr. Siddaramaiah appears to have been neglected in the Congress.
He was not only denied the post of Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly but was also ignored by the Congress leadership during the selection of candidates for the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council polls.
The party High Command also refused to heed his plea against aligning with the Janata Dal (Secular) for the polls.
Mr. Siddaramaiah’s discomfort appears to be worsening with speculation raging over the possibility of the Congress striking an understanding with the Janata Dal (S) in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The former Union Minister C.M. Ibrahim told The Hindu that there were plans to revive the movement and consolidate the backward classes, Dalits and minorities under one platform.
“We have decided to activate AHINDA after seeing how money power played a crucial role in the outcome of the Assembly elections. It was not the BJP’s appeal, it was their money power, which brought them to power,” Mr. Ibrahim said. “If one has to counter this, social engineering is necessary. Hence we wish to revive the movement,” he said.
Sharing Mr. Ibrahim’s view, the former Minister H.C. Mahadevappa said there was a need to strengthen secular forces in the country and reactivating AHINDA was a means of doing so.
Dr. Mahadevappa, who is a follower of Mr. Siddaramaiah, said that strengthening AHINDA would instil a sense of confidence among the marginalised sections of society.
Though the move appears to be aimed at strengthening Mr. Siddaramaiah’s position politically and enhancing his leadership in the party, Mr. Ibrahim and Dr. Mahadevappa said the political fallout of the AHINDA would benefit the party. Mr. Ibrahim and Dr. Mahadevappa, both of whom have been holding talks with Mr. Siddaramaiah and are privy to his political plans, have categorically ruled out the possibility of the former Deputy Chief Minister joining the BJP.
“We are not disappointed with the Congress leadership. There is only disagreement over the issue of the party joining hands with the Janata Dal (S),” Mr. Ibrahim said.
Dr. Mahadevappa said that Mr. Siddaramaiah and his supporters were new to the party and its traditions.
“We may need some more time to adjust. But, ultimately the High Command’s decision is final,” he said.