Upset at the Congress leadership’s decisions on the Karnataka legislative council elections, Siddaramiah said on Friday he was quitting as leader of the opposition because the “party high command had no faith in him”.
Siddaramiah was unhappy with the party high command’s choice of candidates.
“The leader of the opposition and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president are the two important posts and the central leadership should discuss (matters) with these two persons. The high command promised to give a ticket to CM Ibrahim (former Union civil aviation minister) among the four seats the Congress is competing in the legislative council elections (in which MLAs are voters). But the process of selecting candidates has been done without my knowledge. So, I have decided to quit,” he said.
When asked whether he had differences on this with Union labour minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, who is from Karnataka, he said: “I don’t have any rivalry with Kharge and I won’t say he is the reason (behind my resignation).” The election will be held on June 11.
On its part, the central leadership has initiated a damage-control exercise. The Congress high command has rushed two general secretaries, BK Hariprasad and Madhusudan Mistry to resolve the crisis.
“It’s not rebellion but some unhappiness ... that is being dealt with,” party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said.
With inputs from New Delhi