Karnataka: Cong. meeting to decide oppn. leader sees many claimants to post
Bengaluru, Oct. 6 (PTI): Factionalism in the Karnataka unit of the Congress came to the fore on Sunday with a meeting convened by senior party leader Madhusudan Mistry to decide the leader of the opposition seeing many contenders staking claim for the post.
The meeting in a private hotel to decide on who would be the leader of the opposition saw many contenders staking claim for the coveted post, Congress sources told PTI.
With just four days left for the three-day assembly session starting from October 10, Congress, the principal opposition party has not yet decided its leader in the Assembly to take on the ruling BJP.
Besides former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was the Congress Legislative Party leader during the tenure of the erstwhile Congress-JD(S) coalition government, former minister H K Patil and former deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara were among those who laid claim for the post, the sources said.
While some legislators backed Siddaramaiah as the opposition leader, others objected to it, especially former Lok Sabha member K H Muniyappa.
After the meeting Patil told reporters that Mistry had a discussion with the leaders on selecting the Congress leader in the Assembly as well as strengthening the organisation and internal democracy.
“He (Mistry) sought the opinions of all the individuals separately.
Mistry was the in charge of the Karnataka Congress. He understands the prevailing situation in the state. He will submit a report to our party president Sonia Gandhi,” Patil said.
Patil said whatever decision the senior leadership takes would be binding on all party leaders in Karnataka.
Muniyappa said he had given suggestions to Mistry that are in the best interest of the party.
Asked whether long time Congress workers would be given preference, Muniyappa took a dig at Siddaramahiah, who joined the party from JD(S), asking how was he expected to respond when a ‘newcomer’ was made chief minister.
Siddaramaiah was previously with the JD(S) and joined the Congress after he was expelled from the party.
Muniyappa’s differences with the former Chief Minister widened recently when the two had a bitter verbal spat at a recent meeting.
A former union minister, Muniyappa reportedly accused Siddaramaiah of hatching a conspiracy to defeat him in the recent Lok Sabha election from Kolar.