Bengaluru: A day after former chief minister Siddarmaiah sent his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi owning moral responsibility for the party's poor showing in the recent byelections, several leaders like former ministers Krishna Byregowda, Zameer Ahmed Khan, H.M. Revanna, Jayamala and former MP, V. S. Ugrappa tried to persuade him to change his mind.
Mr Siddaramaiah's “think tank” comprising of Mr Byregowda and former Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar reportedly did some brainstorming and came up with the idea of launching a signature campaign across the state, from the booth level upwards, to bring pressure on the party's national leaders to reject his resignation.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader said that almost all former ministers, including KPCC president, Dinesh Gundurao were present at the meeting.
“The massive signature campaign is intended to emphasise how much the party needs Mr Siddaramaiah for its revival in the state. We are at a crucial juncture and need someone like him with a pan- Karnataka image,” he explained.
Congress leaders like former ministers, Satish Jarkiholi and M. B .Patil, who met Mr Siddarmaiah, said he alone could not be held responsible for the party's debacle in the byelections.
As the pro-Siddaramaiah camp is gearing up for the signature campaign, the old guard in the party has already started lobbying in New Delhi with a “Siddu hatao” campaign. “We too are planning to meet Mrs Gandhi to highlight why and where Mr Siddaramaiah and his followers have failed in successive elections,” said a leader from the anti-Siddaramaiah camp.
There has been growing resentment against Mr Siddaramaiah and Mr Rao, especially among senior leaders like K. H. Muniyappa and B. K. Hariprasad, over their “unilateral style of functioning” and the lack of accountability in the party for its debacle in successive polls.
This is the third consecutive election the Congress has lost under Mr Siddaramaiah after the 2018 assembly election and 2019 parliamentary polls. Both he and Mr Rao quit their posts on Monday soon after the party's drubbing in the bypolls, which saw it win only two of the 15 constituencies going to the polls....