3 big guns in race for post of Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly.
Bengaluru: Three Congress big guns are in the race for the post of Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly after the fall of the 14-month-old coalition government on Tuesday.
According to party sources, CLP leader Siddaramaiah, former deputy chief minister Dr G. Parameshwar and former water resources minister D.K. Shivakumar have thrown their hats in the ring. However, the frontrunner is Mr Siddaramaiah who has the experience of working as Opposition leader when the BJP was in power about a decade ago.
Not the one to lag behind, Mr Shivakumar-known in party circles as a ‘trouble shooter’ is leaving no stone unturned to occupy the post. He had played a pivotal role in housing Gujarat MLAs at a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru to protect them from poaching by the BJP. He also hit national headlines when he went to Mumbai to meet rebel Congress legislators and took on the Maharashtra Police by refusing to leave the hotel without meeting his colleagues.
In fact, Mr Shivakumar has been eyeing the post of KPCC President for long but he lost the chance after he got entangled in IT/ED cases.
Another senior Congress leader and a loyal soldier of the party, Dr Parameshwar is also a contender for the post with sources saying he is trying to portray himself as a victim of circumstances as he missed the chance to become the CM when the Congress won 123 seats in the 2013 Assembly polls but he lost in Koratagere. Though, he was nominated to the Legislative Council and made home minister, his dream of becoming CM remained unfulfilled. When the coalition government came to power in 2018, Dr Parameshwar became deputy chief minister.
Sources said the high command will definitely take into account the charisma and oratory skills which Mr Siddaramaiah possesses. Mr Shivakumar is no doubt a dashing leader and ready to take risks for the sake of his party but what is important is tackling the new BJP government.
The chances of Dr Parameshwar becoming Opposition leader are not so bright since a section of his partymen reportedly accuse him of being soft on the JD(S) during the tenure of the coalition government. Among the three, Mr Siddaramaiah definitely has an edge over Mr Shivakumar and Dr Parameshwar.