"I accept the moral responsibility for the party’s defeat in Karnataka," Siddaramaiah said at a press meet on Monday.

news Politics Monday, December 09, 2019 - 15:46

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday decided to step down as the Leader of Congress Legislature Party after the Congress suffered a massive defeat in the bye-elections. 

On Monday afternoon, after the results of bye-polls in 15 Assembly constituencies were announced, Siddaramaiah decided to step down from his post, stating that he accepts moral responsibility for the party’s defeat in Karnataka. 

Speaking to the media at his residence in Kaveri, Siddaramaiah said, “I believe in democracy. In these 15 segments, the voters have delivered their verdict and I respect and accept it. My expectation was that the voters would reject those who defected and betrayed their own parties. I had expected that the voters will teach them a lesson. But my expectation has fallen flat today. I accept the people’s verdict. As the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, there are a few things I have to uphold and hence, I resign from my post as leader of the Congress Legislature Party.”

Siddaramaiah said that he will be sending his resignation letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Karnataka in-charge KC Venugopal and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao. 

Sources in the Congress said that Ahmed Patel, Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat and advisor to Sonia Gandhi, had allegedly asked Siddaramaiah to wait for a few days before making a final decision. However, sources in the Karnataka Congress say that Siddaramaiah made the decision despite Patel’s advice as the defeat had humiliated him. 

In his letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, he wrote, "I express my sincere regrets for not being able to give satisfactory results in the recently concluded bye-elections despite my sincere efforts. I deem it necessary to step down as leader of CLP by taking moral responsibility."

Meanwhile, sources also told TNM that Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao has also decided to resign from his post as the party was able to win only two seats in the bye-elections. 

Sources say that Dinesh Gundu Rao was given the chance to continue as the KPCC President after the party suffered a terrible defeat in the Lok Sabha elections so that he could prove himself in the bye-elections. However, due to the massive setback, sources say that he too has decided to resign from his post.

Read: After bye-poll drubbing, Dinesh Gundu Rao resigns as KPCC President

The bye-polls were necessitated after 17 Congress and JD(S) MLAs resigned and brought down the coalition government. The bye-elections were held in 15 of the 17 segments on December 5. The results were announced on Monday and the BJP won 12 seats while the Congress won two seats.

Independent Sharat Bachegowda won the remaining one seat. The JD(S) did not win a single seat in the bye-polls. The massive setback comes as an embarrassment to the Congress, especially as most of the rebel MLAs were considered as Siddaramaiah’s close associates before they resigned. For Siddaramaiah, defeating these disqualified MLAs in the bye-elections was a personal fight. The Congress’s defeat was a major blow to Siddaramaiah.