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BENGALURU: Not only his defeat in Chamundeswari, but the defeat suffered by his close confidants has dented the larger than life image of Siddaramaiah and his future relevance and prospects in the Congress.
The defeat of his close associates, and many of them ministers in the outgoing government, may prove to be his political nemesis in the days to come. Many of them have lost very badly especially in the old Mysuru and northern Karnataka regions. Of the 30 ministers in Siddaramaiah’s Cabinet, 18 were his close confidants, while some of them were his associates from the JD (S) days.
The 13 confidants who bit the electoral dust are — H C Mahadevappa, H M Revanna, T B Jaychandra, H Anjaneya, T B Jayachandra, Basavaraj Rayaraddi, Shivraj Tangadagi, Sharanprakash Patil, Vinay Kulkarni, Rudrappa Lamani, A Manju, Geeta Mahadev Prasad, and Pramod Madhvaraj. If seven lost to JD (S), the rest were defeated by BJP. However, Byrathi Suresh from Hebbal and Byrathi Basavaraj from K R Pura won. Called the Byrathi Brothers, whose writ runs large from Hebbal to K R Pura, they are considered close to Siddaramaiah.
Congress sources hold the CM solely responsible for the defeat of his close confidants. During the campaign, Siddaramaiah spoke ill of JD (S) supremo Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy even as other Congress leaders maintained a calculated silence. And this boomeranged for Siddaramaiah and proved costly for his confidants. He further decimated the influence of veteran Congress leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, G Parmeshwara, K H Muniyappa, D K Shivakumar, Veerappa Moily, and others.
Sources add, “It was literally antagonising the Vokkaligas by abusing these two leaders which has resulted in the resounding defeat of many of his confidants and ministers in Tumakuru, Chamarajnagar, Ramanagaram, Hassan, and other districts. While another reason for the defeat of ministers in northern Karnataka was fiddling with a forgotten demand and according the minority tag to Lingayats. This was neither asked nor welcomed and in fact, it consolidated the Hindu votes against Congress.”
The interference by Kempaiah, his close advisor, and the total lack of coordination between his aide and confidants created many misunderstandings and finally affected the prospects of his confidants, adds another party source.While campaigning, Siddaramaiah claimed it would be his last election, but with the defeat of his men and women, are his last days in Congress numbered? But Siddaramaiah’s political innings like his mentor Ramakrishna Hedge and Deve Gowda may flourish on the national scene as he is a tall and experienced leader of the OBCs, opine political watchers.One of the biggest losses to Siddaramaiah personally was the defeat of his very close aide — H C Mahadevappa, who lost to JD(S).
13 associates who bit the electoral dust are:
H C Mahadevappa
H M Revanna
T B Jayachandra
Geeta Mahadeva Prasad