DKS vs Siddu spells trouble for Cong ahead of bypolls

The war between former Chief Minister Siddaramiah and former minister DK Shivakumar seems to be getting more intense, causing turmoil in the Congress, as the bypolls get closer. 

Published: 29th October 2019 05:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2019 05:29 PM   |  A+A-


Karnataka Congress chief Siddaramaiah (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The war between former Chief Minister Siddaramiah and former minister DK Shivakumar seems to be getting more intense, causing turmoil in the Congress, as the bypolls get closer. 

Siddaramiah was appointed Leader of Opposition (LoP) a few weeks back by the party high command. A section of party leaders and workers believe this will help better the Congress’ image. “He is the only CM in recent times who has completed his five-year term. he introduced so many schemes. Despite having many competitors, he was chosen as LoP because of his calibre. We do not have any leader on par with him in the party,’’ said a Congress leader. 

On the other hand, some Congress leaders think the party has now got the strength it requires with the arrival of D K Shivakumar. “The party has got more power now. The recent rally and the number of people who gathered shows how big Shivakumar is, he is our leader. Unlike Siddaramiah, who could not even win on his home turf, Shivakumar is a big man in and out of Kanakapura. Whenever there was a crisis in the party, it looked up to Shivakumar, not Siddaramiah. Now that Shivakumar is out on bail, Siddaramiah’s games won’t be entertained,’’ sources close to Shivakumar said.

A video of Siddaramiah speaking on DKS holding a JDS flag at a rally went viral. In the video, Siddaramaiah questioned the message this act will send, that too after the Congress-JDS alliance has been broken. Reacting, Shivakumar said that when people come with love, he cannot stop them. Later, Siddaramiah tweeted that his statement was misread. Sources within Congress said there are chances of Siddaramiah releasing the viral video for his own gain. “He might have done this to damage DKS’ image,’’ said sources.

Interestingly, both the leaders are close to the party high command. Siddaramiah, in spite of having the ‘outsider’ tag, was successful in getting the high command’s confidence, as he managed to become CM and now LoP. Shivakumar is no less — when he was in Tihar Jail, AICC President Sonia Gandhi went to meet him. “Sonia Gandhi had never stepped into any jail, she came just for my sake,” DKS said recently. 
A senior Congress leader said this fight will only help the BJP. “This tussle did not start now, and seems to be only getting worse. It will impact bypolls,” he said. 

Speaking to TNIE, political analyst professor Harish Ramaswamy said earlier, the central Congress leadership was so strong, they would not allow state leaders to grow. But now that it has weakened, state Congress leaders are getting better opportunities. Here, Siddaramiah and Shivakumar, who represent Kuruba and Vokkaliga communities, want to utilise of Congress central leadership. In this race, there is a tussle between the two. But given the party’s condition now, state Congress leaders should not take any risks,” he said.


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