Bengaluru: While the bypolls to 15 assembly constituencies are fast approaching, the state Congress seems to be in a disarray with the anti-Siddaramaiah group staying away from its crucial meeting on the elections Thursday evening.
According to party sources, those present at the meeting included former chief minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao, M.B. Patil, K.J. George, Satish Jarkiholi and a few others. But former Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, H.K. Patil and K.H. Muniyappa, who don't enjoy the best of relations with the Siddaramaiah camp, did not attend.
Such is the rivalry between the two groups that those against the former chief minister don't want to chip in and help the party win the byelections to deprive him of the credit, say sources. With Mr Siddaramaiah selecting the candidates their victory would be seen as his victory, they explain. “These leaders believe that the party's win in the bypolls will only serve to sideline them further and they will not get another similar opportunity to discredit Mr Siddaramaiah,” said a party insider, adding that on the other hand, if the former Chef Minister failed to deliver the goods in the by-elections, it would give his detractors another weapon to target him with.
“They could claim that he failed to take all leaders along in planning the strategy for the byelections and that he failed to lead from the front to impress the voters,” the party leader explained.
Meanwhile, speaking at the event where former BJP leadr, Raju Kage joined the Congress party on Thursday, Mr Siddaramaiah said the Congress had emerged stronger in the local bodies elections in the state.
Of the elections to 418 seats in 14 local bodies in nine districts, the Congress had won 151, the BJP, 125 and the JD (S) , 63 seats, he noted.