About ‘shishyas’ and ‘pitamahas’

The Legislative Assembly on Thursday witnessed a light-hearted discussion on loyalists of the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who are now in the BJP, and on the role of Revenue Minister R. Ashok and Congress member Ramalinga Reddy in Bengaluru’s politics.

During the debate on the Governor’s address, some BJP members said despite the existence of the BJP government, Mr. Siddaramaiah “is still a powerful leader” and the reason was that many of his “shishyas (loyalists)” are in the Cabinet headed by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

When Mr. Reddy, in the course of a debate, taunted Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan for approaching Srinivas Gowda (JD-S) for poaching the latter, Mr. Siddaramaiah, in an aside, described the Congress leader the “pitamaha” of Bengaluru. He had connections with all legislators, irrespective of parties, he said. Cooperation Minister S.T. Somashekhar interjected and said, “On our side, Mr. Ashok is the pitamaha of Bengaluru.”

As the discussion meandered, some BJP members told Mr. Siddaramaiah he was still “very powerful” as many of his “shishyas” were in the Cabinet. Ministers Jagadish Shettar and C.C. Patil complimented Mr. Siddaramaiah for the remark made by BJP members. In fact, the BJP government secured a majority in the Assembly following defection of Mr. Siddaramaiah’s loyalists to the saffron party, they said.

A bemused Mr. Siddaramaiah said, “Yes they are all my friends...” But he insisted that the BJP government was an “illegitimate” one since it came to power through ‘Operation Lotus’ without a popular mandate.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:26:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/about-shishyas-and-pitamahas/article30874010.ece

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