After Punjab and Chhattisgarh, the Congress is apparently having trouble keeping its flock together in one more state – Karnataka.
If reports are to be believed, Congress president Sonia Gandhi recently offered former state chief minister Siddaramaiah a national role in the party – the post of AICC General Secretary.
But the leader turned down the offer, saying he preferred to stay in state politics, Deccan Herald reported, adding that Sonia had called Siddaramaiah to New Delhi after he had turned down a similar suggestion made by Rahul Gandhi.
The offer was Sonia’s attempts to broker a truce in the Karnataka Congress, which is engaged in a turf-war between Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar.
“No, I am not interested in national politics, I am confined to Karnataka politics only,” Siddaramaiah said, according to reports. He was also advised by Sonia against interfering in Congress affairs and leave the decision-making to Shivakumar in Karnataka. But the former state CM told Sonia that his main job was to dethrone the BJP government in the state and bring the Congress back to power.
The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in Karnataka had collapsed in July 2019 after just 14 months in power, when then CM HD Kumaraswamy lost the confidence motion in the Assembly by six votes.
“The BJP that used money and muscle power has won in the numbers game, but has lost morally,” Siddaramaiah had then said.
As many as 16 MLAs – 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) – had resigned, while Independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh had withdrawn their support to the coalition government, triggering its fall.
Last week, Congress trouble-shooter Shivakumar had visited Delhi and met AICC General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala, while Siddaramaiah told the media he was in the Capital to discuss political developments in states and the upcoming bypolls.