Siddaramaiah cut up over Mysuru mayoral election

The coalition politics between the Congress and the Janata Dal (S) in Mysuru seems to have divided the Congress leadership as the development, in his own backyard, has not gone down well with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

The JD(S) candidate becoming the Mayor of Mysuru with the assistance of the Congress is being read as a setback to the Leader of Opposition, who has been blaming the alliance with the JD(S) at the State level for the series of electoral setbacks that the Congress has faced since the 2018 Assembly polls. Sources said that he had not consented to this arrangement.

On Sunday, Mr. Siddaramaiah was in Delhi to attend the wedding of All-India Congress Committee general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala’s son. “He has appraised some top leaders of the developments in the State Congress,” a source close to him said.

While the Congress had backed JD(S) candidates for the Mayoral post in the past two terms, it was hoping to wrest the post this year over a previously agreed-upon arrangement. However, the JD(S)’s possible move towards the BJP triggered anxiety in the Congress and the local leaders, including former Minister Tanveer Sait, agreed to support the JD(S) candidate to foil a possible JD(S)-BJP tie-up. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar had also spoken to former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on the issue.

Sources said that Mr. Siddaramaiah was not against the tie-up with the JD(S), but had been vocal about the post of Mayor coming to the Congress as per the previous agreement. “He also believed that if the Congress had stuck to its stand, the JD(S) would have been exposed since there was a possibility of that party going with the BJP. The surrender of local leadership to the JD(S) has annoyed him,” a source said. “The argument for the current arrangement to keep the BJP at bay does not hold water. Would the secular principles be compromised if the post of Mayor had been given to the Congress?”

Visit cancelled

Incidentally, Mr. Siddaramaiah has cancelled his visit to Mysuru that was scheduled on Monday. It is being seen as expression of his dissatisfaction over the developments. Instead, he will now participate in a protest by sheep and goat farmers.

However, sources close to Mr. Shivakumar said that if they had not agreed to this arrangement, the party would have lost power in the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC). However, they acknowledged that ideally the Congress candidate should have become Mayor. “The argument of exposing the JD(S) does not hold water. If that is the case, Siddaramaiah should have gone to town on the JD(S) tie-up with the BJP in Tumakuru, which happened after the Mysuru development. The Congress had limited scope,” a source said.

Mr. Sait is set to meet the KPCC president on Monday to brief him on the sequence of events that led to the MCC election. KPCC working president R. Dhruvanarayan, who had been sent as an observer, is also expected to file his report shortly.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 1:25:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/siddaramaiah-cut-up-over-mysuru-mayoral-election/article33956976.ece

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