Senior Congress leaders in Karnataka are pressing party president Sonia Gandhi to move former chief minister Siddaramaiah to national politics in view of his actions which were creating a division in the party.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, former AICC general secretary B K Hariprasad, KPCC president D K Shivakumar, senior leader G Parameshwara and a number of leaders have been seeing senior party leaders in Delhi, requesting them to ensure Siddaramaiah’s move to the capital, according to a report in Deccan Herald.
The leaders felt that Siddaramaiah’s actions were undermining the authority of DK Shivakumar, the president of the party’s Karnataka unit.
A few days back, Sonia Gandhi had offered Siddaramaiah a role in the national politics but the latter had turned it down, saying he would remain in the state. The Karnataka leader had turned down a similar offer from Rahul Gandhi earlier.
Many see this as a move to fulfil his chief ministerial ambitions, although he had declared in 2018 that the assembly elections then would be his last.
“If people’s blessings are there, there is nothing wrong in becoming the CM,” Siddaramaiah, leader of the Congress legislature party in the state assembly, has said.
According to reports, the former CM’s actions has created two factions in the Karnataka Congress, “original” Congress leaders, supporting Shivakumar, and “migrants” from other parties such as BJP and JD(S), who are keen on having Siddaramaiah as their leader.
The ‘original’ Congress leaders claim the former CM is promoting his loyalists in the party.
“The differences between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have led to delays in the appointment of new district office bearers for the party,” a Congress leader told Deccan Herald.
The leaders also suspect that Siddaramaiah may have had a hand in his loyalists leaving Congress for the BJP in 2019, which led to the collapse of JD(S)-Congress coalition government.
Siddaramaiah’s personal rivalry with former prime minister HD Deve Gowda of the JD(S) and his family also was affecting the Congress’s prospects in the state, the leaders told party leadership in Delhi, according to the Deccan Herald report.