BENGALURU: Congress leader D K Shivakumar headed to Delhi on Sunday evening for what looks like giving a push to his month-long efforts to emerge as the next KPCC president.
As he meets with the central leadership in Delhi, this much is clear, that he is seen as the frontrunner, but the road is not easy as it is marked with challenges.
The first challenge could be from Siddaramaiah with whom he shares a not-so-amicable relationship.
Shivakumar met Siddaramaiah at his residence amid reports that the latter was lobbying in favour of one of his confidants.
During the meeting, he sought Siddaramaiah’s cooperation for his appointment to the coveted post. Until recently, this post was controlled by Siddaramaiah through Dinesh Gundu Rao, his loyalist.
If one goes by their equation, Siddaramaiah did not induct Shivakumar into his ministry for more than six months after he became Chief Minister in 2013.
More recently when party leaders protested over Shivakumar’s arrest and incarceration in prison over IT-ED issues, Siddaramaiah’s absence was conspicuous.
He briefly participated in a protest in Mysuru, ignoring the much larger protest in Bengaluru where other Congress leaders were present.
Shivakumar needs Siddaramaiah’s support because former minister and Lingayat leader M B Patil, a Siddaramaiah loyalist, has thrown his hat in the ring. And for anyone wanting to helm the state party unit, Siddaramaiah’s blessings are a must.
It is not as if it will be a cakewalk for Shivakumar. MLA and former Minister Ramalinga Reddy’s name has suddenly figured in the list of aspirants.
His loyalist and former Mayor Manjunath Reddy posted a campaign on social media inviting support of other Congressmen for Ramalinga Reddy.
The other name doing the rounds is of Satish Jarkiholi who is five-time MLA from Yamakanmaradi in Belagavi and a Siddararamaiah loyalist.
Asked if he was interested in becoming KPCC president, Satish said if given the responsibility he would take it up.
With a virtual vacuum in the state Congress following the resignations of its top leadership after the rout in the recent Assembly bypolls, senior party leaders had met here on Saturday with an aim to build a consensus for the way ahead.
Siddaramaiah quit as Opposition and CLP leader and Dinesh Gundu Rao as KPCC president following the party’s poor show in the byelections.
According to party sources, though Siddaramaiah is likely to retain the position of Leader of Opposition, the CLP leader post may be given to someone else.