S.R. Patil is Council Opposition Leader
Bengaluru: After months of uncertainty, Congress has finally appointed former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah as Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly. The party also appointed senior leader S.R. Patil as the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council.
Siddharamaiah now ceases to be a member of the Congress Working Committee. “Congress President has appointed Siddharamaiah as Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and S.R. Patil as the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council in Karnataka with immediate effect,” said K.C. Venugopal, AICC General Secretary in-charge of organisation, in a statement late on Wednesday.
He also said, “The party appreciates the contribution of Siddharamaiah as member of the Congress Working Committee.” Siddharamaiah is currently the Leader of the Congress Legislative Party in the Karnataka Assembly. His opponents in the party had objected to giving dual post to the former Chief Minister.
Several leaders had demanded to bifurcate the posts of Leader of the Opposition and Leader of Legislative Party. However, Siddharamaiah camp argued that it will create different power centres in the party. Many senior leaders had also accused Siddharamaiah for the fall of JD(S)-Congress Government in July.
The decision appointing Siddharamaiah and S.R. Patil was preceded by hectic lobbying between ‘original’ Congressmen and ‘migrants’ for these posts. AICC General Secretary Madhusudhan Mistry had held deliberations with more than 60 leaders from across the camps within the party in Bengaluru on Sunday.
There were several contenders for the post, who chiefly included senior party leaders H.K. Patil and Dr. G. Parameshwara. Siddharamaiah retaining posts of both CLP leader and Leader of the Opposition is being read as his victory, despite opposition continuing to grow within the party, especially after the collapse of Congress-JD(S) coalition Government.