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Does Bharat Jodo Yatra consolidate Siddaramaiah’s position in Karnataka Congress?

Senior Congress leader and Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah appear all charged-up with the mobilised political atmosphere in the state after Rahul Gandhi attended his birthday bash on October 3.

Binny Yadav | New Delhi |


Karnataka Congress: As the Bharat Jodo Yatra crosses Karnataka and completes 1000 kilometers of footwalk by congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, it seems to be stirring the political landscape in the state. Events on the side-lines of the Yatra are not only gearing-up Congress party’s foot soldiers, but also becoming an opportunity of sorts for bringing in the warring political forces on a common melting ground by Rahul Gandhi, besides a subtle acknowledgment of Siddaramaiah’s stature.

Senior Congress leader and Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah appear all charged-up with the mobilized political atmosphere in the state after Rahul Gandhi attended his birthday bash on October 3.

Although the birthday event organised at Davangere town was considered a show of strength by the Karnataka Congress amid reports of a rift between Siddaramiah and state Congress chief D K Shivakumar over chief ministerial candidature in Karnataka. Rahul’s Bharat Jodo Yatra definitely is a booster to the position of the former CM.

Viral pictures and videos from Rahul Gandhi attending Siddaramaiah’s birthday bash, to Rahul walking hands-in-hands with him and Shivakumar, and running during the Yatra are more than mere symbolism. These videos and pictures are not only a candid reflection of the efforts made by Rahul Gandhi to broker peace in Karnataka Congress but also are acknowledgment of Siddaramaiah’s consistency in standing by the Gandhi family.

Siddaramaiah has never dithered in his support for the Gandhi family and has always been vocal about it. In his recent social media posts, while the Bharat Jodo Yatra crossed Karnataka, he minced no words,  “that there cannot be unity in the Congress without the Nehru-Gandhi family”.

The former Karnataka CM has mentioned that Rahul Gandhi should be the next Prime Minister, many times. He has been actively stating the same on his social media accounts.

“I am confident that [email protected], under the guidance of Smt. Sonia Gandhi & other senior leaders will successfully lead the Indian National Congress party. Even our party workers feel the same,” Mr Siddaramaiah said in another tweet.

“Mrs. Gandhi has led the Congress during times of crisis and saved our party. Anything that has to be discussed must be done so in the party forum and not in the media,” he tweeted.

During the yatra when Rahul Gandhi suddenly took Siddaramaiah’s hand and started running, making the former Karnataka chief minister run along with him, maybe an extempore, but in politics, no move is un-thought for and even if it is, every move conveys a message. The impact of the Bharat Jodo Yatra may or may not consolidate the Congress party’s prospects in the state, it definitely would consolidate Siddaramaiah’s political footing in the state as well as within the congress party.

Siddaramaiah’s political journey with the congress began in 2004 when the Indian National Congress and Janata Dal JD(S) formed a coalition government with Dharam Singh as the Chief Minister. Siddaramaiah was appointed as Deputy Chief Minister back then.

In 2005, after differences with H. D. Deve Gowda, Siddaramaiah was expelled from JD and, after gaining mass support from the backward classes, joined the Congress at a large public meeting held in Bangalore in Sonia Gandhi’s presence.

In December 2006, he won the Chamundeshwari by-polls against M. Shivabasappa of the JD(S). He was elected as the leader of the Congress legislative party in the Karnataka assembly on 10 May 2013.  Siddaramaiah was elected as Chief Minister after Congress adopted secret balloting to select the new chief minister. He led the Congress party to victory by achieving an absolute majority, securing 122 of 224 seats in the 2013 assembly elections.