BENGALURU: From rising up the ranks fighting the "outsider" tag, to taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi head on, Siddaramaiah's journey in the Congress has been nothing short of an adventure. Every time he was written off, Siddaramaiah has risen. This time around, when he was being blamed for the Congress' performance in the recent assembly polls, Siddaramaiah has once again proven his worth by being elected as the Congress Legislative Party leader — a recognition for his role in helping the Congress forge an alliance with the JD(S).
The Congress, that hailed Siddaramaiah and elevated him to the status of its star campaigner in the run-up to assembly polls, was quick to hold him responsible for the debacle that followed. Unfazed by the criticism and taunts by partymen, Siddaramaiah chose to set his personal rivalry with JD(S) aside and took the lead to forge an alliance with his former party. Despite indulging in mudslinging during the campaign, Siddaramaiah is now forced to not just look H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy in the eye, but also work with them to ensure a smooth functioning of the party — a catch 22 situation — but the statesman that he is, Siddaramaiah has so far made it look like a breeze.
"It is a victory for democracy," Siddaramaiah beamed as he walked out of the Assembly on Saturday, after B S Yeddyurappa resigned as Chief Minister. The beaming Siddaramaiah was a world apart from the sulking Siddaramaiah who walked into Congress' headquarters on May 16 — a day after the results. "When Siddaramaiah was told that he would lose Chamundeshwari, he yelled at the officer. He was told a hundred times by Rahul Gandhi not to be over-confident," said a senior Congress functionary. But it was this unabashed confidence of Siddaramaiah that the Congress basked on before polls. While he disagrees, many in the Congress believe that the election has opened up the doors of national politics for Siddaramaiah. His direct conflicts with BJP national president Amit Shah and Modi have put him in the national spotlight. Come 2019, the Congress is likely to catapult Siddaramaiah into the Parliament.