Karnataka Congress leader C. M. Ibrahim decides to leave party

Congress leader C. M. Ibrahim was also union civil aviation minister in H. D. Deve Gowda-led cabinet in 1996 and had been eyeing the post of Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Legislative Council. Photo: Special Arrangement

Miffed at being denied the post of Leader of Congress in Karnataka Legislative Council, veteran party leader C. M. Ibrahim on Thursday announced that he would be resigning from the party and giving up his membership of the Council.

“I am quitting the Congress. I will send the resignation letter to Council,” he told The Hindu a day after the party announced another veteran, B. K. Hariprasad, as its leader in the Council. “I have not informed anyone in the KPCC about my decision. I will send by letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi,” he said.

Mr. Ibrahim further said, “I had told the party to conduct elections to elect the leader of the party. I had said if I did not have the numbers, do not make me the leader. However, I had the backing of 19 (of the 26 Congress members in Council) members.”

A veteran politician, who was also union civil aviation minister in H. D. Deve Gowda-led cabinet in 1996, had been eyeing the post of Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council, after S.R. Patil, who was denied party ticket to contest from Local Authorities constituency, was set to retire on January 5. Mr. Ibrahim, elected from Karnataka Legislative Assembly, has term till June 17, 2024.

Mr. Ibrahim, party sources said, had also met Janata Dal (Secular) leaders Mr. Deve Gowda and H. D. Kumaraswamy, who are learnt to have offered him a “good position” in the party. Congress leaders, including the general secretary in charge of Karnataka Randeep Surjewala, had met Mr. Ibrahim to pacify him. Sources said that in the recent months, the minority leader had also distanced himself from former Chief Minister and a long-term associate from Janata Parivar days, Siddaramaiah.

When asked if he would be joining JD (S), Mr. Ibrahim said, “I have not made up my mind. I am weighing other options too.”

KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar told reporters that Mr. Ibrahim was a senior leader in the party and he may have spoken after being hurt. “He has worked and contributed for the party. He has also been MLC twice. He has been my friend and I will speak to him.”

Mr. Kumaraswamy said he would welcome Mr. Ibrahim if he decides to join the JD(S). “There is nothing to hide. I have spoken to him today also. He has been a long-term associate of Mr. Deve Gowda. We will give a suitable party post to him if decides to join us.”

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Printable version | May 12, 2022 5:19:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-congress-leader-c-m-ibrahim-decides-to-leave-party/article38334043.ece