Even before the political turmoil in Karnataka could reach a conclusion, the knives are out in the Congress party. During a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party, outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah broke down and acknowledged the efforts made by fellow partymen during the elections, the Indian Express reported citing sources. Without taking any names, some of the MLAs held Siddaramaiah and other senior leaders responsible for the defeat.
However, Senior Congress leader Krishnappa Koliwad, who also held the post of Speaker, openly held former CM Siddaramaiah responsible for the defeat. Koliwad, who lost from Ranibennur to R Shankar of the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party, accused Siddaramaiah for ignoring senior leaders of the Congress. He accused him of keeping a rude behaviour and giving out ticket to ‘whomsoever’ he wanted.
Koliwad also said that he had explained the situation to the attention of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi earlier. “I had explained to the high command many times. Siddaramaiah is inevitable for the time being. He is essential for the party. But he is not a Congressman,” Koliwad was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
“…his blood is not Congress at all,” he said, adding that high command was not in a position to take any drastic steps against Siddaramaiah. Koliwad suggested that high command had no option but to hear him and act according to his desire.
In 2006, Siddaramaiah had joined the Congress after he was sacked by the JD(S) on the charges of indispline. “As long as he gets power, he is in the party. He did the same in the JD(S). He is not a man of any party,” Koliwad said.
He also said that Siddaramaiah’s aides were favoured in ticket distribution over other deserving candidates. He also said that former chief minister wanted to field Shankar from Ranibennur as he is from the Kuruba community. However, he got the ticket after speaking to Rahul Gandhi, he said. Later, Siddaramaiah did not go to campaign for Koliwad despite repeated requests, he alleged.
“He advised all those people to work against me… He came to the neighbouring seat but did not come to my constituency,” he said.