BENGALURU: A large section of Congress leaders, belonging to the ‘old guard’, describe the move by CLP leader, Siddaramaiah, and KPCC president, Dinesh Gundu Rao, to quit immediately after announcement of results of Assembly bypolls as a move to prevent a revolt within the state unit of the party.
Most of the leaders belonging to ‘old guard’ not only crossed swords with Mr Siddaramaiah during selection of candidates but kept away from electioneering, leaving the Kuruba strongman and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao with no choice but to embark on a whirlwind tour of the state in order to drum up support for party candidates in all 15 segments.
Sources in the party said both Mr Siddaramaiah and Mr Rao were aware of simmering discontent and the likelihood of an attack by other leaders once the results were announced. "Sensing this, both leaders announced their decision to resign in an effort to foil the designs of the other camp,” sources added.
The anti-Siddaramaiah camp is still wary about Mr Siddaramaiah not mentioning his twin positions - CLP leader as well as leader of Opposition in the Assembly- in his resignation letter sent to party’s interim president, Sonia Gandhi.
"In his tweet he maintains that he has resigned from both posts but his resignation letter does not say it. It appears that Mr Siddaramaiah is going to bring back the issue of splitting these posts between two leaders. That is why he is did not mention LoP post in his resignation letter written to Mrs Gandhi," a leader belonging to anti-Siddaramaiah camp told Deccan Chronicle.
The leader added that Mr Siddaramaiah would indirectly pressurise central leaders to divide both positions and most likely to retain the post of leader of the Opposition in order to remain in limelight in state politics.
Since, 2018, Congress party state unit fought three elections - 2018 Assembly polls, 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the just concluded bypolls to 15 seats - all these polls were fought directly under Mr Siddarmaiah's mass leader’s image. This came crashing down in both, the Lok Sabha elections as well as in the just concluded by- polls as the party won just one and two seats, respectively.
Although, Mr Siddaramaiah refused to accept the responsibility of his poor performance in Lok Sabha elections in an exclusive interview given to Deccan Chronicle, stating that drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections cannot be attributed to him but to Gandhi family, there was little he could do but resign from the CLP post after this debacle, as these elections were fought under his leadership.