Prakash Hukkeri fumes, rushes to Delhi

Hukkeri that he would take a call after returning from a meeting with senior central leaders in New Delhi.

Belgavai: Former minister and Member of Parliament Prakash Hukkeri, who threatened to follow suit after veteran Congress leader S M Krishna quit the party on Sunday, said on Monday that he would take a call after returning from a meeting with senior central leaders in New Delhi.

Though Mr Hukkeri assured energy minister D K Shiva Kumar that he would continue in the party, he told Deccan Chronicle: "I will not comment on my decision now as I am rushing to Delhi to meet senior leaders. Once I am back from Delhi, I will make a statement on this question (whether he would quit the party or continue)."

The former minister's confidants said Mr Hukkeri was upset that many senior party leaders, including him, were neglected by the party in the state and therefore was planning to quit the party. During his meeting with senior leaders in Delhi, Mr Hukkeri, however, seems set to demand a responsible position in the party for himself besides a ministerial berth for his son, Ganesh Hukkeri, MLA of Chikkodi.

Many local leaders of the party, including former APMC President Shivangouda Patil, admitted that Mr Hukkeri was given a raw deal ever since he quit the cabinet to contest last Lok Sabha elections successfully from Chikkodi constituency. He was banking on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to induct his son Ganesh Hukkeri into the cabinet, but both were sidelined after the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

As a leader of Panchamsali Lingayats, with significant following, Mr Hukkeri worked for overall development of his constituency besides strengthening the party in the border district.

Meanwhile, his son Mr Ganesh Hukkeri batted in support of his father, saying he should be given a responsible position in the party, given his experience and seniority. "The Congress should utilise the experience of its senior leaders to strengthen the party in Karnataka, the only state where it has a bright future," he added.

Shivakumar steps in to fill SM Krishna vacuum
Former CM S.M. Krishna's departure from the Congress may kick-start political activity within the party for leadership change at the party and government level.
The clamour for replacing Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah and KPCC president, Dr G. Parameshwar is likely to grow.

Energy minister and Vokkaliga strongman D.K. Shivakumar, whose chances of becoming KPCC president had become dim, has got a boost after the departure of Mr Krishna. He is likely to throw his hat in the ring once again and start lobbying for the post claiming he will fill the void created by Mr Krishna’s exit and get Vokkaliga votes for the party.

While loyal Congress leaders are likely to start a CM Hatao campaign once again, "Both campaigns may not materialise but will surely keep party circles abuzz," a party senior leader told this newspaper.

The source added that Mr Shivakumar and Mr Siddaramaiah had been constantly trying to replace incumbent Dr Parameshwar for the last one year but for different reasons. "Mr Kumar wants the KPCC president post for himself, while Mr Siddaramaiah wants his nominee to succeed Dr Parameshwar.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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