Bengaluru: Amidst hectic developments in the Congress after former Union Minister S.M. Krishna resigned from the party, the appointment of Dr H.S. Chandrashekhar, son-in-law of former PM H.D. Deve Gowda as Sanjay Gandhi Trauma and Orthopedic Centre director has raised eyebrows.
Though some claim that Dr Chandrashekhar was the most senior and deserving candidate and neither CM Mr Siddaramiah, nor Mr Gowda had any role to play, issues behind appointment to a ‘selection post' are more than what meets the eye.
Sources close to the CM said that Mr Gowda's elder son-in-law and Director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology Dr Manjunath had met Mr Siddaramaiah recently. Interestingly, Mr Siddaramaiah had withstood pressure from within his close circles to replace Dr Manjunath and extended his retirement till the Mysuru project of Jayadeva Hospital was completed. Besides, Mr Siddaramiah had a long telephonic conversation with him, two days before the order came out.
As against the general perception that Mr Gowda and Mr Siddaramaiah do not see eye to eye, both leaders often have telephonic conversations, said sources. Besides, both leaders are balancing between ‘two groups', as no one is sure about the outcome of the state elections, due in 2018. While Mr Gowda is balancing between BJP and Congress, Mr Siddaramaiah is balancing between Congress factions and JD(S) factions!
Relations between Mr Gowda and Siddaramaiah have considerably improved after Gowda's unconditional backing of the government during the Cauvery crisis. After that, the two leaders are constantly in touch over phone and have shed their bitterness.
Besides, the two leaders have their political compulsions to maintain a steadfast relationship, as anything might happen in the state after the next elections. Mr Gowda has apprehensions over his party coming to power on its own, while son H.D. Kumaraswamy is confident of the party bouncing back throughout the state. However, both feel their party, despite the rebel factor, would do far better during the next elections.
At the moment, the predictions point to a hung Assembly, where JD(S) could play kingmaker. While Mr Gowda is inclined to align with the Congress led by Siddaramaiah in such a situation, Mr Kumaraswamy has not made his preferences evident. However, he has made his bitterness against Mr Siddaramaiah clear by ruling out a coalition with the Congress.
Meanwhile, Mr Siddaramaiah has to strike a balance between factions within the Congress and factions of JD(S). While original Congressmen are gunning for him for making the party an extension of the erstwhile Janata Parivar, he is facing a tough situation in keeping his flock together with people like C.M. Ibrahim expressing displeasure over his style of functioning. In such a delicate situation, keeping Mr Gowda in good humour by appointing his kin to the top post in Sanjay Gandhi Hospital could only come in handy for the CM, sources added.