The split in the Karnataka state Congress is wide open as former chief minister Siddaramaiah and the party trouble-shooter DK Shivakumar are fighting it out over the KPCC post
Bengaluru: Former chief minister Siddaramaiah and Congress trouble-shooter DK Shivakumar are good friends, at least before the cameras.
But off it, they can get bitter and acrimonious.
Take the issue of the rejig in the Karnataka Congress. After it suffered heavy defeat in the Lok Sabha election (it won only one seat), the chorus for a change in the guard (Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president) has been growing louder.
The incumbent, Dinesh Gundu Rao, is being seen as someone who doesn’t have the paraphernalia to take everyone along and build the party from the grassroots. However, he is a close aide of Siddaramaiah.
In fact, when Siddaramaiah met the then Congress chief Rahul Gandhi after the drubbing, he is said to have suggested to him to dissolve the Karnataka Congress, with the exception of Dinesh and working president, Eshwar Khandre. Honouring his suggestion, Rahul did so.
But now, the smouldering differences are out. As a favourable atmosphere for Dinesh’s ouster grows, Shivakumar is said to be lobbying for the KPCC president’s post.
But, Siddaramaiah is not the one to allow this to happen. Sources say that the former chief minister is dead against Shivakumar ascending the throne and is said to have conveyed his message to the top brass.
It might also be recalled that Shivakumar was in Delhi a few days ago, trying to meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi to put forth his desire of holding the reins.
But as of now, he will have to wait for a long time as Siddaramaiah is proving to be an obstacle.
When asked about his prospects, Shivakumar turned philosophical and took the example of deputy chief minister Lakshman Savadi of the BJP, who was decorated with the post in spite of not being an MLA or MLC and said if fate willed, anything can happen.
Dinesh still has one-and-half years left in his tenure.
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Last Updated 29, Aug 2019, 4:26 PM