Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah, who has no constitutional post in the newly formed H D Kumaraswamy government in the state, has been allotted the lavish office of former speaker in Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru. Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar -- who took over from former Speaker K B Koliwad -- cleared the space for Siddaramaiah.
Karnataka speaker K R Ramesh Kumar worked out of his designated office on the first floor of the complex for the past two weeks.
Siddaramaiah, the 69-year-old former chief minister of Karnataka, is the chairman of the JDS-Congress government coordination committee after both the parties formed an alliance post the May 12 Karnataka assembly elections. He was unanimously elected as the leader of the Congress Legislative Party in May.
The new office of Siddaramaiah has high-end wooden furniture, including luxurious sofas, chairs, LED TV and other comforts.
According to reports, former Karnataka speaker K B Koliwad had renovated his office last year at a cost of Rs 68 lakh and the single-room office was expanded into two.
Koliwad’s decision to expand his office was criticised by the BJP which raked up farmer suicides in Karnataka to draw a contrast. But Koliwad in his defence cited severe space crunch and said it was difficult to hold meetings there.
After Congress's defeat in Karnataka Assembly elections, a senior member of his own party in Karnataka attacked Siddaramaiah alleging that his arrogance, his complete authority in candidates’ selection and the Lingayat issue cost the party.
The results on May 15 announced a hung assembly with the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats, but short of a majority by eight seats. The Congress, which bagged 78 seats, struck a post-poll deal and extended its unconditional support to the Janata Dal (Secular) which won 38 seats to form and head the government in Karnataka.