Siddaramaiah, once considered the most powerful Congress leader in Karnataka, is left with almost no lieutenants to back him.

news Politics Friday, February 14, 2020 - 18:07

Karnataka Congress MLA NA Haris has been in the news often for his son – Mohammed Haris Nalapad’s involvement in a car accident this week and prior to that for assaulting a man in an uptown café in 2018.

However, NA Haris’ statement on Thursday has gone more or less unnoticed, although he has been critical of his own party. In a series of tweets, NA Haris accused Congress leaders in Karnataka of not working hard enough to build the party. Haris also accused the state leaders of furthering their personal agendas instead of uplifting the party.

“I am a loyal Congressman. However, it is worrisome that the Congress party has not become alert after multiple losses in elections. Why are party office bearers here? To build up the party or to further their own personal agendas?” NA Haris said.

Haris also said that the results of the New Delhi Assembly elections and that the Congress party must contemplate its mistakes.

“The party must correct its mistakes as the country needs the Congress party but no one is doing that. The party must learn lessons from the losses and not get used to it,” he added.

Congress sources say that NA Haris is also unhappy with the state leaders for not politicizing the issue of Revenue Minister R Ashoka’s son allegedly being involved in a car crash that killed two people. Though NA Haris has personal motives behind his tirade, his words, however, ring true say many in the Congress.

A splintered Karnataka Congress and lazy leaders?

Party sources say that ever since Siddaramaiah resigned from his post of Congress Legislature Party Leader and Dinesh Gundu Rao stepped down as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President, the party’s organization structure in the state has splintered drastically.

Siddaramaiah, once considered the most powerful Congress leader in Karnataka, is left with almost no lieutenants to back him. The rebels, who resigned, were the leaders who had projected himself as his loyalist. 

“Most of the elected leaders are not interested in working hard. None of them want to work actively to ensure that the opposition is strong. This has left the cadre too disinterested in working. Siddaramaiah went from being a leader that everyone trusted to a leader they could not trust,” the source said.

Between 2013 and 2018, when Siddaramaiah was at the helm of affairs in the Karnataka Congress, he allegedly divided the party’s state unit on caste lines, leaving several community heads disgruntled. Despite Siddaramaiah projecting himself as the Ahinda leader, a large chunk of his vote base has now shifted their loyalties, including those from his own community – the Kurubas.

“Siddaramaiah began ignoring demands and needs of leaders from all other communities including OBCs and Dalits. He only focused on the Kuruba community and after the 2018 Assembly elections, a large chunk of the Kuruba community’s loyalties have begun to shift towards the BJP,” the Congress leader said.

Party sources say that several leaders within the Congress have now distanced themselves away from Siddaramaiah and that most of them are disinterested in taking up the task of building up the party. “They are just lazy and do not want to work hard. There were many chances when the Congress could have emerged stronger. The leaders could have gone and protested in Bidar until the case was withdrawn. The Muslim community makes up a huge chunk of the Congress’vote base. None of the party leaders are standing up for their own vote bank,” a Congress functionary said.