The uncertainty over who is to be the next Chief Ministerial candidate has resulted in differences between CM Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dr G Parameshwara.

Who will be Congress CM candidate in Karnataka Congress leaders differ over top position
news Politics Friday, October 06, 2017 - 15:07

Despite Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah clarifying multiple times that he will be leading the party in the run-up to the 2018 Assembly election, there are still speculations about who will be the Congress's chief ministerial candidate. 

Senior Congress leaders have stated that the party has not yet narrowed down its Chief Ministerial candidate.

The uncertainty over who is to be the next Chief Ministerial candidate has resulted in differences between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dr G Parameshwara.

Although the two Congress leaders have denied that a feud exists, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, on Friday, put a stop to speculation and said that there are differences between the two leaders.

“Look at BJP, even Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa are fighting. In a political party, such small fights are common,” Ramalinga Reddy said.

When asked specifically if the feud was about who should be the chief ministerial candidate, the Home Minister said, “Yes, there is a small fight between Siddaramaiah and Dr Parameshwara. It is regarding who should be the next CM and nothing else.”

Stepping in to control the situation, Congress State in-charge KC Venugopal directed all party men to refrain from commenting about the party’s CM candidate for the upcoming elections.

“The high command has not yet decided who the chief ministerial candidate is. Right now, the party has appointed me the head of the campaign committee. Whatever decision the high command will take, we will all abide by it. There is no fight going on between me and Siddaramaiah. The opposition may have planted this idea,” Parameshwara had told the media on September 3.

However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah appears confident of his position. 

“Have no doubts, I will lead the Congress to victory in the next polls too. It is irrelevant to discuss the possibility of a Dalit CM. The task is to bring the party back to power. From the feedback we have got we are confident of crossing the 120-seat mark,” Siddaramaiah said recently.

The shadow boxing between the CM and Dr Pamameshwara is not a new one, party insiders say. In 2006, Siddaramaiah quit JD(S) and joined the Congress and even today, many consider him as an outsider. Dr Parameshwara became the KPCC President in 2010 and in a run-up to the 2013 polls, he lost his spotlight.

At the time, Parameshwara was seen as the Chief Ministerial candidate but was sidelined after he lost the seat in his home turf in Tumakuru district’s Korategere to the JD(S) candidate Sudhakara Lal PR. 

Dr Parameshwara had not appeared for the swearing-in ceremony of the three new cabinet ministers who were inducted on September 1.

Geeta Mahadevaprasad, RB Thimmapur and Ramalinga Reddy were given ministerial berth during the reshuffle.

Party insiders had said that Parameshwara was not happy about this as his choice of leaders MLC Motamma and MLA Shadakshari were not considered for the ministerial portfolios. The media had attributed Parameshwara’s absence to his discontent regarding the cabinet reshuffle.

The senior Congress functionary said that despite the Congress high command constituting a poll panel headed by Parameshwara, comprising senior leaders from different castes, Siddaramaiah is seen as the one who will lead the party and call the shots in the 2018 polls.

“Although Dr Parameshwara is a Dalit leader, Siddaramaiah has already positioned himself as the leader who will champion the cause of the SC and ST communities. Parameshwara has been put in charge of the campaign for the 2018 polls, the High command is clear that the elections will be fought under the leadership of Siddaramaiah. He will have a say in the candidates who will be given tickets,” a senior party functionary said.

Corroborating the Home Minister’s statement, the senior functionary said that there are “small differences” between the two leaders.

 

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