In what is being perceived as a balancing act to ensure former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah gets his due, the Karnataka Congress has elected him as the leader of the Legislature Party. The decision was taken in Hyderabad, where the party's MLA-elects were taken to avoid horse trading.
AICC President Rahul Gandhi endorsed Siddaramaiah for the post and he was unanimously elected by the MLA-elects present at the venue.
On Wednesday, the Congress Legislature Party met at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters in Bengaluru for an informal meeting. The LP leader was not elected then as Rahul Gandhi was not present.
On the same day, the JD(S) unanimously elected HD Kumaraswamy as their LP leader.
The two parties further obtained signatures of all their elected representatives to prove that they had the required numbers to form a coalition government in Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah on Friday held a crucial meeting with Congress MLAs to discuss the strategy to be adopted in the state Assembly on Saturday when Chief Minister Yeddyurappa seeks a trust vote.
The Congress leader flew into Hyderabad hours after the MLAs of the Congress and the JD(S) were shifted here by their respective parties to prevent them from poaching by the BJP ahead of the crucial floor test in the new Assembly.
The Congress MLAs checked in at Taj Krishna in Banjara Hills. The bus carrying 36 JD(S) MLAs first stopped at Park Hyatt in the same area but was later taken to Novotel Hotel.
Congress leader Madhu Goud Yashki, who accompanied the MLAs from Bengaluru, told reporters that the BJP was shamelessly trying to poach their MLAs. He said the BJP would fail as the Congress-JD(S) enjoy the majority.
Meanwhile, the BJP did not leave this opportunity to attack the Congress.
Congress has overturned it's decision to make G Parameshwara as leader of CLP!â€” BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) May 18, 2018
This is not just an insult to G Parameshwara, but it's an insult to the entire Dalit community!
How anti-Dalit of you Mr. Rahul Gandhi? https://t.co/w9CsYfJ65u