King Cong
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King Cong

May 20, 2023

Soon after Congress got an overwhelming mandate, an otherwise stern and emotionless D.K. Shivakumar (DKS) shed tears of joy before the media. Now, he is probably shedding tears of disappointment as he did not get the Chief Minister’s chair. Unfortunate for a man who has been a Congress workhorse all his life.

While many may believe DKS would not have been the right choice because of corruption issues, lack of experience and his inability to become a mass leader, one has to sympathise with him all the same.

DKS has been a true Congressman. He has been its most sincere worker and its saviour. He has organised the most visible rallies and helped save Congress Governments from Gujarat to Maharashtra.

While some Congress leaders today cite DKS’  ‘corruption’ as an issue, the same leaders had no qualms using his money to organise rallies, win votes and save Governments. Let it be. That’s just politics.

Many DKS’ supporters argued that Siddharamaiah had been the Deputy CM and CM uninterrupted for five years, so why again? They even asked how Congress leadership could choose someone whose supporters brought down a Congress Government. How could they choose a person who allegedly was instrumental in the defeat of both Dr. G. Parameshwara, who was then the KPCC Chief and Mallikarjun Kharge so that they both would not be contenders for the CM’s post?

Well, D.K. Shivakumar’s supporters forgot who Siddharamaiah is — he is the child of destiny.

When it comes to politics, Siddharamaiah is a lucky man. A man who became Dy.CM after being an MLA for just seven years, then CM by being in another party for just seven years and now CM again from the same party! While people who have been in Congress party for over two decades have been deprived of that gaddi.

That ‘lucky-Siddu’ streak continues as Mallikarjun Kharge is made to sit in Delhi, Dr. Parameshwara is rendered irrelevant and DKS is forced to accept the Deputy CM post, a position that is not even ‘Constitutional,’ let alone powerful.

It’s clear, Siddharamaiah is the King of Congress in Karnataka.

While we could sympathise with DKS, we Mysureans have reason to be happy as Siddharamaiah, a Mysurean, is the CM. More importantly, we can be hopeful of development as Siddharamaiah gets things done. If we have the new Government Hospitals, which helped us during COVID-19 or the few white-topped roads or the new Maharani’s College, it is because of him.

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We are told that the Karnataka CM’s position is like Club Mahindra — a time-share property. The CM position will be shared for two-and-a-half years by Siddharamaiah and two-and-a-half by DKS.

But knowing Siddharamaiah’s luck, he might complete the five years himself, if DKS is convicted in the corruption cases that are still pending before the Enforcement Directorate (ED)!

Now, Siddharamaiah is CM for the first half. Good choice. He has the experience and has some semblance of ‘social responsibility’ and financial probity, which is much needed, or else Karnataka will go bankrupt implementing the five over-zealous promises that Congress has made. However, what does Siddharamaiah’s crowning mean for us, the people of Karnataka?

First, his ability to show the bureaucracy its place. When political leaders are weak or malleable, the bureaucracy takes them for granted and takes us, the public, for a ride. Cunning deals are fixed, politicians are pitted against each other and works are delayed. With Siddharamaiah, a straight shooter, maybe for once, they will do their job so as not to face his infamous wrath.

Certain sections of bureaucracy fear him so much that it was rumoured in the 2018 election that numerous officers reportedly donated huge amounts of money to the opposition party to defeat Siddharamaiah. At least with Siddharamaiah at the helm, good officers may finally have a chance to shine.

Second, he’s not a man of deals. Yes, all politicians are forced to make deals and compromises, but some know where to draw the line. And Siddharamaiah knows where to draw a clear line between profiteering and public service. After all, he was once a Socialist who still retains certain pragmatic Socialist principles.

Third, and probably one of the best aspects, he is an agnostic. He does not believe in religion but does in God. He visited places of worship during the last election and also this election, but it was more for political optics.

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Instead of the Government spending our money on religious centres, it may now spend it on developing crucial infrastructure projects, education and health.

Incidentally, Siddharamaiah stood up in the Assembly and spoke vehemently against giving money to the religious centres when BJP went on a religious enrichment-spree.

To add, he does not give prominence to caste. Yes, he is known as a Kuruba leader, but he has surrounded himself with advisers and assistants from all castes. This is why he is seen in political circles as a secular politician. Many say he and H.D. Deve Gowda were the ‘S’ in JD(S).

All of the above traits I mentioned are of the ‘original Siddharamaiah’ before he turned a Congressman.

Since he joined Congress, he has been tainted by the ways of the ‘Big Elitist Party’ and influenced by the affluent Congress leaders.

Only after joining Congress was a Socialist-Siddharamaiah seen wearing expensive watches, driving in very expensive cars, wearing designer shoes and turning away when his new Congress colleagues indulged in corruption.

In his new Congress avatar, he killed Lokayukta instead of giving it more teeth. He raked up the Tipu Jayanthi issue and tried to split Lingayats. All just to win. Not to be the reformer that he once hoped to be.

But now, with the five guarantees, maybe Siddharamaiah is returning to his roots.

If Siddharamaiah is truthful when he says this is his last hurrah in electoral politics, it’s time to become the old Siddharamaiah — the leader we, as young journalists, admired years ago.

Siddharamaiah, if he wants to leave a lasting impression, he has to return to what he truly was … not just a Kuruba leader or an AHINDA leader but a genuinely secular leader who is conscious about social reforms. A leader who can implement pragmatic social security schemes while encouraging industry as it helps create jobs and wealth which can pay for those schemes.

If Siddharamaiah wants to be remembered by all Kannadigas as a Statesman who left behind a better Karnataka, he must become the old Siddharamaiah.

So will the old Siddharamaiah please stand up? …Let’s hope so.

e-mail: [email protected]


  1. Jalandhara says:

    Hello Vikram
    I can fathom how much you are disappointed with the Congress win , while byou and your father MrGanapathy were ready to celebrate the BJP landslide, and were preparing to praise the influence of your admired leader Narendra Modi, in turning thie tidev in favour of his saffron party. Your father, Mr Ganapatht had already rteferred to Narendra Modi as Lord Krishna!
    While the two of you-the father and son are drowning your sorrow over a glass of whiskey, your traditional drink, some home truths are in order.
    About the expensive cars and footwear. Mr Ganapathy was one of the earliest arrivals to Mysore in 1970s, who parked his Mercedes in front of his large house. I have seen him wearing shoes which were far too expensive for an ordinary Mysoreans. I bet he has a Roles watch too!
    Unlike you, You have had a short stint in the exposure of Indian diaspora in the US and elsewhere in the Wesyt, in my experience of living in the West for over 4 decades, the Indian rich of the Indian diaspora, even after many generations, seldom let go their showing off of expensive Items. R(ishi Sunak, who gained the premiereship of the UK, in part, because of his wealth- thanks to Infosys Murtys generous dowry, was ridiculed when he went to see the most deprive part of the UK, wearing a Prada footwear costing over 700 GBP. His wife, the daughter of tee total Murts, is known for buying expensive whiskeys for daily tipple, and is often seen taking her daughter to an expensive private school wearing like her husband, a designer footwear costing more than 1000GBP, She has done this by claiming to be an Indian citizen, hence , the nondom status avoiding taxes for 10 years, while her husband as the finace ministered hammered the ordinary Brits with high taxes!

    This is an example of a British-Indian of generations of British idenitity. As I said, the expesive show offs, is a typical Indian disease embedded in their genes, no matter what they claim to be. He is now branded as “out of touch” with ordinary voters, and is facing a maasive defeat in the election to be held next year.
    Hence, your observation of :””Siddharamaiah seen wearing expensive watches, driving in very expensive cars, wearing designer shoes” is not seen as strange! BTW, you have not seen Narendra Modi, in his tours in the West, and the expensive tastes he has, even though looking like a normal Guharati Aadmi! Indians like brands, branded goods, and expensive and exclusive items, wherever they are. That is their genetic defect!

  2. Hamid says:

    CM has issued a warning to police that no moral policing will be tolerated. May be , next is to give some special freebies from government for immoral activities!! Free recreational drugs, liquors, condoms and free medical treatments for STD to name a few!

  3. koppal boregowda says:

    Hello Hamid
    You sound like an illiterate moron, unable grasp what the new CM wanted. Ask your Imam, he will tell you!

  4. John says:

    CM sir. Many Bjp supporters who never voted congress are misbehaving by not paying for electricity and not buying bus ticker and starting nonsense protest. Government should lock them up and break their bones


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