Bengaluru: With the Congress old guard gaining the upper hand after Sonia Gandhi was convinced to lead the party as interim president, reports have started doing the rounds that Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddarmaiah too could be replaced soon after a mass defection when he failed to stop many of his loyalists from deserting the party and bringing down the coalition government.
Although no names have been finalised yet, former minister, H.K. Patil's name is also been projected which has come as a surprise to many.
For the last 10 years, Mr Siddaramaiah has had his way in the state Congress. Even after the disastrous Lok Sabha election results when the party could win only one seat in Karnataka, the former CM was still trying his best to retain his hold over the party by remaining leader of the Opposition. “Since 2008, he has been the Congress Legislature party leader for 11 years. This has not happened in the past except in the case of late chief minister Devraj Urs. Hence, it is time for him to be replaced by a suitable leader,” a senior leader told this newspaper on the condition of anonymity.
According to sources, the names of H.K. Patil and former Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar have been added to the list of aspirants for the CLP post. “Already, leaders like former DCM G. Parameshwar and former minister D.K. Shivakumar are doing the rounds for the CLP post. Dr Parameshwar who served as the KPCC president for more than eight years, is lobbying hard to get the coveted post, while Mr Shivakumar is eyeing the same post and is also lobbying for the post of party state president. Soon after the Lok Sabha elections, the KPCC has been disbanded leaving PCC president, Dinesh Gundurao and working president, Eshwar Khandre at the helm of affairs,” the source said.
Another source added that Mr Patil's name has come to the fore considering his past experience as the Leader of the Opposition in the Council.
“Both Mr Patil and Mr Ramesh Kumar's names are doing the rounds purely on the basis of merit while others are banking on their caste background," the source pointed out....