From Madhya Pradesh To Rajasthan To Karnataka, Congress’s HR Mess

The Congress’s resolution on its Karnataka tangle virtually coincided with the Supreme Court judgment backing the amendments to legal guidelines in three states to permit the normal bull-taming sports activities of Jallikattu and Kambala.

After the Congress victory on May 13, 135 jubilant MLAs handed a one-line decision authorising the Congress president, Mallikarjun Kharge, to determine who will lead the social gathering’s authorities in Bengaluru. But the one-liner couldn’t deter the digital “Jallikattu” that ensued between the social gathering’s two high Karnataka leaders. Mallikarjun Kharge was maybe the primary social gathering chief wherever on the planet to say that he’ll seek the advice of the “High Command” (learn: Sonia Gandhi and her household).

As Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had withdrawn to the pristine heights of Shimla after their profitable marketing campaign within the southern state, Rahul Gandhi, who was in Delhi, emerged because the digital High Command. Rivals Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar met with him at Sonia Gandhi’s dwelling, 10 Janpath. It is to Rahul Gandhi’s credit score that he has pushed to Mallikarjun Kharge’s 10 Rajaji Marg Road for discussions ever for the reason that veteran was elected Congress chief. He did so this time too.

Rahul Gandhi’s desire for Siddaramaiah was extensively talked about. But the Jallikattu was allowed to linger and Kharge continued confabulating alternatively with the 2 contenders.

G Parameshwara’s title additionally popped up in media hypothesis. Late on May 17, Sonia Gandhi is known to have damaged her silence – her phone name to DK Shivakumar is claimed to have executed the trick.

Earlier within the day, Randeep Surjewala had informed the media {that a} resolution was probably in “48 or 72 hours”. The resolution was introduced by noon on May 18. Siddaramaiah carried the day. DK Shivakumar was assured that he shall be Deputy Chief Minister and can proceed as Karnataka Congress chief until the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

G Parameshwara was tasked with the job of conveying to Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot the Congress resolution. All’s nicely that ends nicely. However, the ability wrestle which unfolded over 4 days has as soon as once more uncovered chinks within the Congress’s Human Resources (HR) administration.

Karnataka Congress chief BK Hariprasad had informed the media on May 14 that previous to MLAs adopting the one-line decision, a secret poll had been carried out by central observers like veteran Maharashtra chief Sushil Kumar Shinde. Hariprasad didn’t disclose the main points of the polling however sources point out that 84 of the 135 MLAs favoured Siddaramiah. 34 supported Shivakumar and 17 votes went to Parameshwara. Had these figures been disclosed, even subtly, the free-for-all could have been averted.

In 2018, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot had overwhelming numbers (Sachin Pilot’s revolt may draw solely 21 MLAs). Bhupesh Baghel in Chhattisgarh bested TS Singh Deo. In Madhya Pradesh, the bulk favoured Kamal Nath (he was toppled when Jyotiraditya Scindia walked away together with his band of 23).

The Congress High Command didn’t disclose these revealing numbers in 2018 and the fallout in these three states is well-known. Poor HR administration and lack of transparency may cause lingering uncomfortable side effects. Unlike within the days when stalwarts dominated the Congress, right this moment the social gathering has a good sprinkling of dwarfs who’re tasked with disaster administration. And their efficiency is dismal.

Having defeated the BJP on the “40 % sarkara” plank, Congress had little selection. Even if Shivakumar was to be rewarded for having led a profitable social gathering unit, with a pending disproportionate property case (which is arising earlier than Karnataka High Court on May 23 after the Supreme Court despatched the matter again to Bengaluru earlier this week), naming him Chief Minister would have weakened the very foundation of its victory.

Siddaramaiah, whose moorings had been within the Socialist Party, joined the Congress from HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) in 2006, and was appointed Deputy Chief Minister. In 2013, he was elevated as Chief Minister. When he got here to energy, Congress had 36 per cent vote share. In 2018 when Congress misplaced the Karnataka election, the social gathering’s votes went as much as 38% (in 2023: 43%).

The rise in Congress votes is attributed to the AHINDA help. (Ahinda is Kannada acronym for Alpasankhyataru or minorities, Hindulidavaru or backward courses, and Dalitaru or Dalits) – a political terminology coined by the Karnataka state’s first backward chief Devraj Urs within the Seventies. Siddaramaiah reinvigorated the Ahinda plank. There had been no allegations towards him when he demitted workplace in 2018.  So, Siddaramaiah match the invoice submit the “40 % sarkara” marketing campaign.

The video of 76-year-old Siddaramaiah breaking right into a dash with Rahul Gandhi throughout the Bharat Jodo Yatra went viral. Apart from probity, his secular credentials additionally helped him win Rahul Gandhi’s help. When the Bajrang Dal controversy was utilized by the BJP to embarrass Congress, Shivakumar tried to outdo the BJP by promising that Anjaneya (Hanuman) temples shall be in-built all cities. Siddaramaiah remained silent. After the Congress victory Shivakumar was seen searching for blessings from seers at Tumkur’s Siddaganga Mutt. There was no such present of religiosity from Siddaramaiah.

Shivakumar was seen carrying a bouquet for Rahul Gandhi when he went to 10 Janpath. Siddaramaiah went sans flowers. But the bouquet got here to him.

The undercurrents within the Congress headquarters in Delhi had been fascinating. Kharge appeared to dilly-dally. In 2013, Siddaramaiah was chosen over him to be Chief Minister. In 1999, SM Krishna, and in 2004, Dharam Singh pipped him on the submit. So, Kharge’s potential reservations about Siddaramaiah can be comprehensible.

But sources say that Kharge informed Shivakumar earlier than the announcement was lastly made, that he had been denied the submit thrice up to now however his perseverance and loyalty to the social gathering paid off.

The composition of the brand new Karnataka ministry shall be an uphill activity. During the Congress’s energy tussle, it was stated that multiple Deputy Chief Minister could possibly be appointed to accommodate the aspirations of assorted communities. Now that Shivakumar would be the “solely” Deputy Chief Minister, conflicting pursuits should be managed.

During the Karnataka marketing campaign, Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar labored in tandem. Will that symphony final?

(Shubhabrata Bhattacharya is a retired Editor and a public affairs commentator.)

Disclaimer: These are the private opinions of the writer.

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