BENGALURU: In a clear indication that the Indian National Congress stands firmly behind Siddaramaiah, the former Karnataka chief minister has been appointed the member of Congress Working Committee. Siddaramaiah’s appointment to the grand old party’s highest decision-making body reconfirms the Kuruba leader’s position in the party as a formidable force despite failing to get a majority in the Karnataka assembly elections under his leadership. The appointment marks Siddaramaiah’s venture into the national political scenario.
“Siddaramaiah is a mass leader who has friends across parties. He will be instrumental in uniting opposition parties in the run-up to 2019 elections. While he is averse to national politics, I believe he should make a mark there, given his vast political experience,” Dinesh Gundu Rao, President, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee told The New Indian Express welcoming the party’s decision. Rao added that the appointment sends out a clear message to everyone in Karnataka that the Congress recognises Siddaramaiah’s leadership, effort and work in the last five years despite not getting desirable results in the assembly election.
The first indication that Siddaramaiah has not lost favour of Congress High command came when he was appointed the Congress legislative party leader in Karnataka. His appointment as Chairman of the JD(S)- Congress coordination committee cemented him as a power centre in the state. Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday constituted the Congress Working Committee under his leadership with 23 members, 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees.
Siddaramaiah, for the first time, joins the likes of Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress party leader in the Lok Sabha as member of the CWC. Karnataka MP K H Muniyappa has been named a special invitee. The former CM, whose position many in the party believed had diminished after the assembly election, has emerged the Congress’ clear favourite. The announcement of his appointment to the CWC comes when Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara and Water resources minister D K Shivakumar are in New Delhi. Siddarmaiah, on the other hand is touring his constituency Badami.
The CWC led by Rahul Gandhi will have Sonia Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh, Motilal Vohra, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, A K Anthony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Oomen Chandy, Tarun Gogoi, Siddaramaiah, Anand Sharma, Harish Rawat, Kumari Selja, Mukul Wasnik, Avinash Pandey, K C Venugopal, Deepak Babaria, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Raghuveer Meena, Gaikhangam and Ashoka Gehlot as members.
Sheila Dixit, P Chidambaram, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Balasaheb Thorat, Tariq Hameed Karra, PC Chako, Jitendra Singh, RPN Singh, PL Punia, Randeep Surjewala, Asha Kumari, Rajini Patil, Ramachandra Kuntia, Anugrah Narayan Singh, Rajeev S Satav, Shakthisinh Gohil,Gaurav Gogoi and Dr A Chella Kumar have been appointed as permanent invitees while K H Muniyappa, Arun Yadav, Deependra Hooda, Jitin Prasad, Kuldeep Vishnoi, Presidents of INTUC, IYC, NSUI, All India Manila Congress and chief organiser of Congress Deva Dal will be special invitees of the CWC who will work as ex-officio members.