Bengaluru: While there are rumblings in the ruling BJP over Cabinet formation, the relatively ‘quiet’ Congress state unit is likely to see a battle soon between its old guard and the Siddaramaiah camp over the post of Opposition leaders in both Houses of the state legislature.
Party sources say that ever since Sonia Gandhi returned as president of the All India Congress Committee, the old guard has been trying hard to take control of the party and corner the positions, which went to loyalists of former chief minister, Siddaramaiah under former Congress president, Rahul Gandhi.
The old guard made up of Dr G. Parameshwar, K.H. Muniyappa, M. Veerappa Moily, H.K. Patil and a few others seems to be rallying around senior leader, M. Mallikarjun Kharge who is a confidante of Mrs Gandhi.
On the other side of the fence, with Mr Siddaramaiah are Congress leaders like K.J. George and Krishna Byre Gowda.
It does seem like change is in the air as Mr Siddaramaiah, who was under the impression that he would be made the opposition leader by virtue of being the CLP leader immediately after the BJP came to power in state, received a mild shock when the party high command decided to put the decision on hold.
According to sources, Mr Siddaramaiah’s strategy was to become the Opposition leader in the assembly and eventually emerge as the chief ministerial candidate in the next Assembly elections, but the old guard saw through it and worked in Delhi to stall his appointment.
Mr Siddaramaiah is now reportedly pushing the candidature of former Speaker, K.R. Ramesh Kumar or alternatively that of Mr Krishna Byre Gowda for the post.