Karnataka Congress working president SR Patil has resigned from his post owing to “moral” responsibility for the party’s performance in North Karnataka region during the recently-concluded Assembly elections in the state. Patil was entrusted with the responsibility to boost party’s prospects in the region dominated by Lingayat community in June 2017. Patil himself belonged to the community. However, he reportedly had a very minimal dominance in the region. A minister in erstwhile Congress government, Patil is considered close for former CM Siddaramaiah. Patil was also the leader of his party in Karnataka legislative council and the only member to be inducted into the Cabinet from the Upper House of the state.
The 69-year-old leader served as a minister for Infrastructure, information technology, biotechnology, science and technology, planning and statistics in the Government of Karnataka. It is said that Patil was instrumental in gathering support for former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to contest from Badami seat along with Chamundeshwari. After the results, Siddaramaiah lost Chamundeshwari but managed to win Badami by a thin margin. Some reports say Siddaramaiah was pushing for SR Patil’s appointment as the new KPCC chief after current president G Parameshwara was appointed as Deputy Chief Minister.
The Congress couldn’t repeat its 2013 performance in north Karnataka region, which turned out to be a big factor for party’s defeat poor perfomance in the Assembly polls.
The Congress currently has 79 MLAs in the 224 member Assembly. The party had won 78 seats in the polls held on 12 May, while it added one more seat to its tally by winning RR Nagar seat later. On the other hand, Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats. The Congress and JD(S) formed a post-poll alliance after the results and the government in the state.
The BJP on Sunday took a swipe at Patil’s resignation. Taking to Twitter, party’s Karnataka unit said, “The downfall of the empire that was built after mocking people’s mandate has begun. @INCKarnataka senior leader Sri. S R Patil resigns. This is only the beginning of the downfall of power-hungry government.”