It has been two weeks since the unholy Congress-JDS alliance formed government in Karnataka but the contentious negotiations for allotting cabinet portfolios are still on. There are political heavyweights in both the parties vying for top portfolios. This seems to be putting immense pressure on the already precarious coalition that had taken birth out of political opportunism. In background of ongoing negotiations for allocation of key portfolios, several Karnataka Congress leaders, including DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, were to visit Delhi on June 4. They were set to meet the Congress President Rahul Gandhi in connection with this issue. However, this high profile meeting has suddenly been cancelled by the Congress high command and top Karnataka Congress leaders have been snubbed by Rahul Gandhi in the most insulting manner.
Two Karnataka Congress bigwigs who have been denied this high profile appointment with Rahul Gandhi are, D.K. Shivakumar, the man who confined JDS and Congress MLAs before the trust vote and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Not only this, Karnataka Congress president, K C Venugopal and sycophant of the Gandhi family, Ghulam Nabi Azad have also sent a message asking the state leaders to refrain from coming to Delhi. In what should come as a shock for senior state leaders, especially D K Shivakumar, the man who saved the JDS-Congress alliance, Venugopal and Azad have made it clear that they would discuss portfolio allotment with the Rahul Gandhi themselves. It seems that the state leaders have been excluded from the entire process. They will be made aware of the proceedings afterwards like some junior party leaders.
These are no ordinary leaders who have been sidelined by Rahul Gandhi in a shocking manner. They have behaved like the most loyal servants to the Congress and the family for quite some time now and this is what they have got in return. Former Karnataka chief minister, Siddaramaiah has taken a lot of pains for the family. Yet he has been acting like a typical sycophant. Throughout his tenure, Siddarmaiah was the poster boy of Congress’ brand of secularism. This cost him Karnataka and he did not raise any objection even after his political rival, Kumaraswamy was given the top post. During the election campaign, Siddaramaiah was always on JDS hit list. However, he gave preference to party interest over personal rivalry. In fact, while speaking at the 84th Congress plenary session, Siddaramaiah had predicted that Rahul Gandhi would go on to become the prime minister in 2019. Looking at Rahul Gandhi’s track record and the Modi wave in the country, this seems to be a cute little effort by the sycophant to please his master.
D.K. Shivakumar is the man who deserves all the credit for the massive turnaround in Karnataka. The Congress had faced an embarrassing defeat in Karanataka but it somehow managed to stitch an unholy alliance with the JDS. There was every chance of Congress or the JDS MLAs changing sides and giving a conscience vote to the BJP. However, Shivakumar not only managed to detain a total of 116 MLAs in total isolation from the outside world but also ensured that none of them listened to their conscience. He ensured that the Congress-JDS coalition forms government in Karnataka. This was not for the first time that Shivakumar, who happens to be one of the richest legislators in India saved the Congress in a precarious situation but Karnataka was, by far, his biggest exploit. Shivakumar saved the Congress and the Gandhi family but what did he get in return? First, he was denied deputy chief ministership and now he is battling for even a portfolio of his choice. This is grossly unfair for a man who saved the Congress and is now being sidelined by the Congress itself.
Congress, though, has always worked on sycophancy and flattery of the family but it did have the practice of rewarding the family’s sycophants. But now it seems that no matter how much someone does for the organization and the Gandhis, there is no guarantee of them being rewarded for it. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, despite all their efforts, are being treated rather harshly by a clueless Rahul Gandhi. Only time will tell how these two bigwigs react, however, there is a limit upto which anyone can tolerate insults and getting sidelined. There is every possibility of these senior leaders of the Congress finally going against their own party.