BENGALURU: Senior Congress leaders in the state are regrouping again to unsettle Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after the Delhi Assembly polls. They are expected to make ‘party loyalists versus newcomers’ as their rallying call.
In the guise of offering greetings on New Year’s day, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwara is said to have broached the issue with Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and former chief minister S M Krishna.
Sources in the Congress say Kharge asked Parameshwara to wait till the Delhi Assembly polls as the party high command is focussed on the elections. The Delhi Assembly polls are likely to be held in February.
Meanwhile, sources said there will be changes in the AICC with some leaders from Karnataka losing their present party positions. After the restructuring, the party leadership will focus on arresting the saffron surge, which also includes moves to rein in the chief minister. Several senior Congress leaders in the state say that the CM is not focussing on party-building and instead indulging in enhancing his own image.
“Siddaramaiah has already declared that he is not going to contest the polls in 2019. It looks like he is not bothered if the Congress retains power or not,” a Congress leader told Express. Besides this, he is also neglecting loyal Congress workers by promoting his own men from the Janata Parivar.
Congress leaders are also hoping that BJP will get permission from Governor Vajubhai Vala to prosecute the chief minister in the alleged irregularities in the 541-acre Arkavathy denotification case. Central BJP leaders have already given the go-ahead to petition the Governor. “That makes our effort much easier,” a senior Congress functionary said. Once the permission is given, the high command will step in to act, he said.
In case the BJP doesn’t petition the Governor or if denies permission for prosecution, party leaders will meet the high command and explain the reasons why Siddaramaiah should be reined in, the functionary said.