BENGALURU: The Mysuru region, the backyard of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, has been the source of much heartache for him in the last year. The latest in the series of embarrassments for him is the imbroglio involvingMinister for Primary and Secondary Education Tanveer Sait, who represents the Narasimharaja constituency.
At the already controversial Tipu anniversary celebrations, Sait was caught on television watching obscene images during a programme in Raichur. So far, there have been no vociferous cries of support in Sait’s favour among Siddaramaiah’s cabinet and he is expected to resign shortly, especially with the BJP threatening to disrupt the winter session, if the CM does not dismiss him.
This incident is the latest in the long list of woes that have haunted Siddaramaiah and an indication of the tough challenge he faces in retaining the Mysuru region in the 2018 assembly elections.
Just last month, V Srinivasa Prasad, a representative of Nanjangud constituency resigned from the Legislative Assembly after having a public fallout with Siddaramaiah. He was dropped from the Cabinet during the reshuffle in June, a move that did not go down well. Prasad is expected to join the BJP and he has made no bones about his disapproval of the CM’s way of functioning.
In this backdrop, the government teetered alarmingly on the brink, while the Mysuru-Mandya region saw a spate of protests related to the Cauvery agitation. As the North east monsoon has also not come to the rescue of the farmers, the agitation is expected to pick up again over the sharing of Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu.
There was also the unsavoury incident of party worker and the CM’s close aide, Marigowda who verbally abused and insulted the then Mysuru Deputy Commissioner C Shikha. Though Marigowda was suspended from Congress after a police complaint was lodged and he surrendered to the police, Marigowda’s suspension was revoked recently and he is in line waiting for a plum post heading a corporation or board.
Sources also said that there is a huge question mark on if Siddaramaiah can carry the burden of winning seats himself if he isolates himself. “He is not known as an independent winner. He has mostly won through the support of JD(S) earlier and later Congress,” the source added. The CM also cannot bank on his son Yathindra drawing votes for him. Yathindra, who has only taken an interest in politics after the death of his brother Rakesh, is likely to take some more time to gain solid support in the region.