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Backward leader in Cong fold

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 03:08 IST
Saroj Nagi

The stage is set for the induction of Siddaramaiah into the Congress. The former JD(S) leader, who left HD Deve Gowda to float his own outfit, will resign his Chaumendeshwari assembly seat in a day or two before joining the party.

Acknowledged as the undisputed leader of the kuruba  (shepherd) community, Siddaramaiah called on Sonia Gandhi on Thursday to discuss the political situation in the state. The Congress president's Political Secretary Ahmed Patel and AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, AK Antony were also present.

The entry of the former deputy chief minister is expected to give a big boost to the Congress in the state where it hopes to recapture power once the JD(S)-BJP coalition, led by Kumaraswamy, collapses under the weight of its contradictions.

For tactical reasons, Siddaramaiah's eight legislators aren't expected to follow suit. But after he quits his seat and joins the Congress, the former deputy chief minister will pay another visit to 10 Janpath next week to formally invite Sonia for a celebratory rally. The deputy CM slot he occupied before Gowda dropped him is seen as a certainty when the Congress reclaims power.