Some legislators want Siddaramaiah to continue as Leader of Opposition


Former Chief Minister to head to Delhi on January 2 to meet party high command on leadership issue

With some Congress legislators exerting pressure on the high command not to let former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah step down from his post as Leader of the Opposition, the central leadership seems to be in no mood in accept his resignation.

However, the central leaders are said to be open to the idea of appointing a new KPCC president, as Dinesh Gundu Rao has resigned from the post following the party’s dismal show in the recently concluded byelections to 15 Assembly constituencies.

To face BJP

Sources in the party said legislators such as Rizwan Arshad, Krishna Byre Gowda, and a few close loyalists of the former Chief Minister have appealed to the high command not to accept his resignation, since he is a leader capable of putting the BJP government on the mat on several controversial issues in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the party high command has summoned Mr. Siddaramaiah for talks to Delhi on January 2. The party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi and AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal and other central leaders are expected to ask Mr. Siddaramaiah to withdraw his resignation. The central leaders are also expected to hear his views on appointing a new KPCC president, a new CLP leader, and a member to the party’s central working committee (CWC).

Though senior leaders such as G. Parameshwara and H.K. Patil placed their demand for the post during one-to-one discussions with the AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry last week, the high command has been planning to appoint Mr. Parameshwara as the CLP leader, the post hitherto held by Mr. Siddaramaiah, sources said. Mr. Patil is likely to be accommodated in the CWC.

Will it be DKS?

Amidst several contenders for the top KPCC post, central leaders are said to been keen on appointing senior leader and former party working president D.K. Shivakumar to the president’s post.

The Congress viewed that Mr. Shivakumar, known as the party’s trouble-shooter, is the best bet in the current circumstance though there are pending income tax and ED cases against him for his alleged role in money-laundering.

While former Union Minister and seven-time MP K.H. Muniyappa is said to be still lobbying for the KPCC chief post, former Minister M.B. Patil said that he had not lobbied for the post. Mr. Patil told presspersons here on Wednesday that he had urged the party high command to give the president’s post to an eligible candidate based on merit.

Meanwhile, legislators from North Karnataka have been demanding the appointment of a leader from the dominant Lingayat community to counter the leadership of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

Sources in the party said if all goes well, the new KPCC president would be appointed in the next one or two months.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 3:13:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/some-legislators-want-siddaramaiah-to-continue-as-leader-of-opposition/article30397551.ece

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