Patel win set to change DKS’s political fortunes

Praise from Sonia Gandhi after the Rajya Sabha poll victory in Gujarat boosts the senior minister’s bargaining power in the Congress

Published: 13th August 2017 09:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2017 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel’s re-election to Rajya Sabha is expected to change the political fortunes of Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar.
Shivakumar, who sees himself as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the party in Karnataka, has emerged the real winner in the Gujarat battle as the man has again delivered what he had promised even amid the most trying time of his three-decade-long political career. As soon as the results were out, the party bosses called him to congratulate.

While Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi conveyed her appreciation for his role in ensuring the victory of her political secretary in the election which allegedly crossed all limits of inducements, betrayal, use of money and muscle power, Ahmed Patel profusely thanked Shivakumar.
The message from Sonia and Patel was clear, “your work and dedication will be rewarded for pulling off a great victory by humbling the political machinations of Amit Shah-Modi combination.”

Shivakumar has emerged the hero of the Gujarat poll battle as he lived up to the faith of the party high command in shielding the 44 Gujarat Congress MLAs from the reach of BJP’s tentacles when his own political survival was under threat in the form of I-T raids on his premises.

Trying to sound modest even as congratulatory messages poured in, Shivakumar said: “I have only discharged the responsibility assigned to me by my party high command. The Election Commission has taught a lesson for all the political parties.”Shivakumar had earned accolades from the party high command as the party in-charge for Bihar Assembly polls, when the Congress’s tally went up from the earlier 4 to 27. He has been seen as the go-to man for any tough missions in th BENGALURU:e Congress.
Shivakumar, who was kept out of the ministry initially by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, forced his entry seven months later with a push from the party high command. The Gujarat victory is expected to change the political fortunes of Shivakumar, who was disappointed after his bid for the KPCC President’s post came a cropper. The victory has boosted Shivakumar’s bargaining power in the party and his stock is expected to soar in coming days if he succeeds in wriggling out of the I-T web.

Political observers in Karnataka say there is no threat to Siddaramaiah’s leadership in the state as the Congress is unlikely to even consider change of leadership in the election year.Speculations are being floated on gifting Shivakumar the Home portfolio in Siddaramaiah cabinet. However, the minister is not interested in such posts with just a few months of the term of this government remaining and would aim big befitting his image of a super showman in the state Congress.He may be given bigger responsibility within the party during the elections. That also depends on the outcome of the ongoing probe by the I-T Department. Earlier this week, the minister was grilled by the I-T officials and he had asked for more time to submit documents sought by them. The I-T Department is tight-lipped about the probe. It is bit early to speculate on charges to be farmed by the I-T Department as the probe is still on and the minister is likely to be called for questioning again.

Fate uncertain

  • Shivakumar’s fate now depends on the outcome of the ongoing probe by the I-T department

  • Earlier this week, he had asked for more time from I-T officials to submit the required documents

  • At present the I-T department is tight-lipped about the probe

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