Double Engine That Powered Congressional Research in Karnataka | Karnataka Election News

One is a former CM preparing for one last hurray, the other a tried and tested problem solver waiting for his moment in the sun. In Siddaramaia AND DK Shivakumarthe twin talismans of a famous Congress comeback in Karnataka, the grand old party has two disparate personalities who have taken different paths towards a common goal.
A teary-eyed 61-year-old Shivakumar said on Saturday after his eighth consecutive poll win that he had promised to ‘hand over Karnataka’ to the Gandhis and was relieved he had done so when faced with many odds. “I can’t forget Sonia Gandhi that she met me in jail,” he said, stamping his reputation as a brash first-family Congress loyalist.
Unlike DKS, who has always been with Congress, not only is the 75-year-old Siddaramaiah a latecomer to the party, but his detractors within the grassroots still see him as an outsider and seem uncomfortable with his outspokenness. What goes in the veteran’s favor is his experience, both as a CM and state finance minister, and a clean image.
Born into a Kuruba family (pastoral community) at Siddaramanahundi in Mysuru district, Siddaramaiah started his political career at Bharatiya Lok Dal in 1983 when he first became an MLA. He has won the Mysuru district assembly polls ever since, except 1989 and 1999.
As the mandate for Congress’s return became clear on Saturday, Siddaramaiah’s doctor son Yathindra made no secret of who would be the best choice for CM. “For Karnataka’s sake, my father should become CM,” ANI said quoting Yathindra, who relinquished the Varuna seat to father him. “As a resident of the state, his last period (2013-18) saw good governance. Again, if he becomes CM, the corruption and misgovernment of the BJP will be corrected.”
Siddaramaiah, a law graduate who also taught for a while in his hometown of Mysuru, held various posts as a minister in the former Janata Dal governments led by Ramakrishna Hegde, HD Deve Gowda and JH Patel.
Siddaramaiah joined Congress 17 years ago after political differences with his mentor and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda led to his being ousted by JD(S). The origins of the split lie in the fractured verdict two years before his release, when Congress and JD(S) had formed a coalition government and Siddaramaiah had to settle for the post of deputy CM. Siddaramaiah has never forgiven Deve Gowda, who he thought scuttled his prospects of becoming CM. The subsequent sacking was seen as Deve Gowda made room for his son HD Kumaraswamy.
As finance minister, Siddaramaiah presented 13 state budgets. Since the collapse of the last JD(S)-Congress government, he had been the leader of the opposition.
DKS, the other congressional contender for the CM post, took over as CPC chairman at a time when the party was plagued by low morale and lack of initiative. He came with impeccable credentials, having first displayed his problem-solving skills in 2002 when he held the Congressional flock together during a no-confidence move against then Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh.
In 2017, when Congress Ahmed Patel fought then BJP chief Amit Shah for a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, it was once again Shivakumar who hosted 44 MLAs from the party. Patel won the seat.
As a youth, Shivakumar ran a video lounge while working his way up the ranks as a student leader before moving up to the big league. In 1985, he challenged Deve Gowda at Sathanur and lost. He challenged the founder of JD(S) again in 1989 in Kanakapura, only to savor defeat a second time. In 1999, he defeated Deve Gowda’s heiress Kumaraswamy at Sathanur, starting what has been a dream run ever since.
In 2018, Shivakumar set aside his differences to work with Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy to form the Congress-JD(S) government.


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