Annoyed Congress senior leaders caution Siddaramaiah

Veterans feel state govt's welfare schemes have only helped enhance Siddu's image and not that of the party.

Bengaluru: AICC general secretary B.K. Hariprasad’s blunt warning to Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah on Thursday during Surajya Samavesha, was a well calculated move by Congress seniors to remind the chief minister and his coterie that they were not being consulted on crucial party issues and were being frequently insulted.

A major section of Congress leaders feel that Mr Siddaramaiah has not done anything that will actually benefit the party in the long run, be it his welfare schemes or programmes all of which are aimed at enhancing his own image rather than contributing anything significant to the party directly. This is the major ‘official’ grouse against him ever since he was sworn in as the Chief Minister in May 2013.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader observed that Mr Hariprasad's statement comes almost two months after Mr Siddaramaiah and his coterie had begun to talk against party veteran, B. Janardhan Poojary. "Although it is not just Mr Poojary, the attacks on him matter a lot to Congress leaders. Mr Poojary is known for his straight talk and never holds back anything that he thinks would affect the party's image. That is why he is respected not only for his straight talk but also for walking the talk. Therefore, the CM's men should have refrained from making their ire against Mr Poojary known. Besides, Mr Siddaramaiah by now should have developed a cordial relationship with most senior leaders in the party. This has not happened which has left the seniors disappointed. Therefore, whenever anyone gets an opportunity, he or she just does not let go the opportunity to remind him that he is yet to evolve as a Congress leader," the source quipped.

The source added that Mr Siddaramaiah did not miss the chance to meet up with his one-time mentor turned arch rival, former prime minister, H.D. Deve Gowda during the Cauvery river crisis and he could do the same again whenever the state government loses direction or comes under attack. "For instance, when S.M. Krishna was CM between 1999-2004, his cabinet was filled with stalwarts and faced several crisis, but all of them were regularly in touch with party seniors and held consultations. Despite this, Mr Krishna was constantly attacked by former union minister, C.K. Jaffer Sharief. Although, senior leaders including Mr Hariprasad had differences with him, it never came out in the open in this manner. It has become a joke of sorts in the Congress that if Mr Siddaramaiah participates in a programme, one of the senior leaders is sure to attack him," the source remarked.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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