Despite lobbying, Siddaramaiah, Dinesh likely to continue in posts in Congress

After Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and Dinesh Gundu Rao resigned from the posts of Leader of the Opposition and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, respectively, several Congress leaders have been camping in the national capital and lobbying for the posts. However, the party high command is expected to ask both leaders to continue in their posts.

Leaders such as K.H. Muniyappa, H.K. Patil, D.K. Shivakumar, B.K. Hariprasad, S.R. Patil, Eshwar Khandre, and M. Mallikarjun Kharge, who went to New Delhi for attending the party’s ‘Bharat Bachao’ rally on Saturday, have continued their stay in the national capital. Some of them are keen to meet party president Sonia Gandhi and former president Rahul Gandhi. They have held talks with senior leaders such as K.C. Venugopal, the AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka.

Some of these leaders have expressed their displeasure with Mr. Siddaramaiah’s and Mr. Rao’s way of working on more than one occasion and blamed them for the Lok Sabha and bypoll routs of the Congress this year. However, the party high command has not accepted their resignations, and discussions on new leadership will be held only after the acceptance of resignations, party sources said.

Dinesh for now

Mr. Rao has not been visiting the KPCC office since his resignation. But a new KPCC president is likely to be appointed only after the appointment of a full-time president of the AICC in 2020, sources said.

These sources also said that Mr. Rao would be asked to stay in the post for the time being since there are no major elections in the State till 2023. It is believed that the Lok Sabha and byelection results are not being seen as proper reasons for acceptance of resignation. In the 2019 general elections, the party was defeated not just in Karnataka but also in the Congress-ruled Hindi belt. And byelection results largely go in favour of the ruling party.

There is talk in party circles that Mr. Shivakumar could take over as KPCC president in a year or so to intensify the party’s campaign ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections. This is subject to the Congress trouble-shooter absolving himself of all Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate-related cases.

Other contenders

Former Minister and Dalit leader Mr. Muniyappa has been lobbying for the KPCC president’s post for some time now. Rajya Sabha member Hariparasad, who along with Mr. Muniyappa has levelled charges against Mr. Siddaramaiah, is reportedly backing the claim of the seven-time MP. Veteran leader Mr. Kharge is reportedly backing Mr. H.K. Patil for the post of Leader of the Opposition. Mr. Patil had resigned from the post of the party’s campaign committee chief after the 2018 Assembly election defeat.

In case Mr. Siddaramaiah is asked to continue in the post, Mr. Patil and former KPCC president G. Parameshwara are likely to be accommodated as Congress Legislature Party leader or as a member of the Congress Working Committee or campaign committee chief. Changes are likely to take place only in 2020, sources said.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 1:18:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/despite-lobbying-siddaramaiah-dinesh-likely-to-continue-in-posts-in-congress/article30324062.ece

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