BENGALURU: The Congress is looking at December 9 as a new beginning. While most leaders are suggesting that it will form the government with the JDS again, one senior leader who doesn’t seem happy is Siddaramaiah, who on Tuesday went on record to say that both JDS and BJP are political opponents.
While senior Congress leaders close to the high command, like Mallikarjun Kharge, BK Hariprasad and others, are echoing the mantra of “new government’’, seeking to instil hope in the rank and file, Siddaramaiah has maintained that the “high command will decide on this”. His contradiction may prove to be a stumbling block, considering his personal resentment and rancour against the JDS.
Sources said any decision, post December 9, will be taken in consultation with Congress MLAs, which is what the party did in Maharashtra. The high command is expected to consult with elected representatives, and party sources are confident that AICC president Sonia Gandhi is a master at consensus building.
At present, Congress has 66 MLAs and JDS 34; together they account for 100 MLAs, and need to win at least 12 seats to form the government. If that happens, their number would stand at 109, and the ball would be in the governor’s court. This is considering the House strength is 222 and not 224, as RR Nagar and Maski elections are held in abeyance.
Some suggest the Congress is saying this merely to enthuse voters, because the party realized that its candidates were doing badly. The results are encouraging after the change in narrative, with the rank and file reporting a groundswell of support. But the big question is: how will Congress deal with Siddaramaiah.
Poll pundits say the Congress-JDS collective vote share in the 15 segmentis an overwhelming 65+%, even considering the votes they might not get because their original candidates have changed.