MYSURU: The emphatic Congress victory in the keenly contested Nanjangud and Gundlupet byelections has given an edge to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah over his rivals both within and outside his party. Thursday’s results have raised his stock within the party and silenced his detractors who have constantly attacked his style of functioning.
After faring badly in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, followed by the Hebbal byelection and the BBMP polls, Siddaramaiah knew the knives would be out for him. He has been able to establish that he is the only CM who has raised the party’s hopes bouncing back.
Though Capt Amarinder Singh scored a victory in Punjab, he could capitalise on the 10 years of anti-incumbency factor against the Akali-BJP coalition government. But that was not the case in Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah will also look to leverage his position with the party high command in reorganising the party in the state and expansion of his cabinet.
The CM is expected to expand his ministry to induct two ministers. Madahav Prasad’s wife Geeta, who won from Gundlupet, is said to be considered for a ministerial berth. Currently, the ministry strength including the CM is 32.
The party is also looking for a new KPCC chief ahead of the 2018 Asembly elections as incumbent president G Parameshwara has already completed seven years. He is also handling the Home portfolio in the ministry.
Sources said Parameshwara is keen on continuing in the party post and resigning from the ministry. The issue is likely to come up for discussion during Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara’s meeting with the high command in New Delhi on Friday.