Karnataka

Ramalinga Reddy was Congress’ face in Bengaluru

Ramalinga Reddy leaving the Vidhana Soudha with Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday.

Ramalinga Reddy leaving the Vidhana Soudha with Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

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The resignation of Ramalinga Reddy — one of Bangaluru city’s senior most Congress leaders, seven-time MLA and four-time Minister — has come as a major setback for the party.

Considered the “face of the Congress” in the city, particularly in the civic body, he has served in the ministries of M. Veerappa Moily, S.M. Krishna, N. Dharam Singh, and Siddaramaiah.

Mr. Reddy, who served as Home Minister and Transport Minister in the Siddaramaiah government, had expressed his anguish over not being considered for a Cabinet berth when the coalition government was formed and subsequently when the Ministry was expanded in December 2018 and June 2019. Supporters of Mr. Reddy had staged a rasta roko and held demonstrations outside the party office when he was denied a Cabinet berth in December.

Key role

It was Mr. Reddy who had held talks with JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda in installing the Congress–JD(S) combine in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike council and ensuring the Mayor’s post to the Congress for the last four years. Bengaluru’s current Mayor, Gangambike Mallikarjun, is Mr. Reddy’s loyalist.

Sources in the party said his resignation could be a major setback for the Congress in the city. His daughter Sowmya Reddy, representing Jayanagar constituency, too is expected to quit the Assembly on Monday.

Long association

“I have been associated with the Congress since my student days and it pains me that I have to leave,” Mr. Reddy told reporters at the State Secretariat. He had come to tender his resignation as MLA for BTM Layout constituency. When reporters asked him the reasons for his resignation, Mr. Reddy said, “I have already stated my reasons in the past. I am not going to repeat them.”

When the H.D. Kumaraswamy government inducted Independents into the Cabinet, Mr. Reddy had lashed out at party leaders for neglecting seniors. Though KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, working president Eshwar Khandre and Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar rushed to his residence to pacify him on Saturday, Mr. Reddy eventually announced his resignation.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:49:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ramalinga-reddy-was-congress-face-in-bengaluru/article28307788.ece

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