Karnataka

Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah meeting triggers speculation

Former Minister D.K. Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Former Minister D.K. Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Sunday.  

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The ex-Minister reportedly sought CLP leader’s support to become KPCC chief

Ahead of the anticipated appointment of the new Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president and in the light of a greater demand to appoint one person each to the post of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and Leader of the Opposition, a lengthy meeting between the CLP leader Siddaramaiah and former Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Sunday sparked off speculation in political circles.

The changes that followed the resignations of Mr. Siddaramaiah as CLP leader and Leader of the Opposition and Dinesh Gundu Rao as KPCC president has set off a race among many senior Congress leaders now hoping to fill the slot.

Sources said that Mr. Shivakumar, who was among the front runners for the KPCC top post, met Mr. Siddaramaiah to seek his cooperation.

The meeting of the two leaders for nearly two hours revolved around the prevailing political scenario in the State, and the expected change in the party. Sources said that the meeting assumes importance in the light of 18 senior leaders showing solidarity by attending a meeting on Saturday during which unanimity in decisions was discussed.

Mr. Shivakumar, however, said that he had come to discuss political developments with his leader.

“There is nothing special about this meeting. Mr. Siddaramaiah is the Leader of the Opposition and I work under him. Irrespective of whether we have powers or not, Mr. Siddaramaiah is our leader. I’m not asking any post nor am I a competitor,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Meanwhile, according to sources in the party, the high command was looking at different caste combinations to have a balancing factor between the factions of Lingayats, Vokkaligas, and Backward Classes that will also work as optics before the people. If KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre and former Minister M.B. Patil are also trying for the KPCC president’s post, the party has more or less given up on dividing the post of CLP leader and Leader of the Opposition.

Another former Minister H.K. Patil has been looking at one of the two posts as pressure has been mounted on the high command by the Congress old guard to divide the post, which will be seen as weakening the position of Mr. Siddaramaiah.

“In all probability, the suspense could end within the next two weeks as the party leadership is looking at bringing an end to confusions and also filling up posts,” a source said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 5:41:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/shivakumar-siddaramaiah-meeting-triggers-speculation/article30487695.ece

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