Siddaramaiah’s Swansong: With Yet Another Win Under His Belt, Cong’s Poster Boy Readies for New Innings

Siddaramaiah may have got his finger wrongly inked on polling day, but he clearly has his finger on the pulse of the people of Karnataka, returning the Congress to power in the southern state with 136 seats.

Anyone can contest from Varun (Siddaramaiah’s seat), but the winner will always be my brother. He is very popular. He has been the chief minister once before and has administered the state well. I will be thrilled to see him as the chief minister again in Vidhana Soudha,” Siddegowda, brother of Congress leader and CM candidate, confidently told News18 just days ahead of polling in Karnataka.

Today, Siddegowda’s wish has once again come true as his brother climbed the steps of the majestic Vidhana Soudha to take oath as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka following a landslide victory for the Congress in the 2023 Assembly elections.

Sources have told News18 that Siddaramaiah will take oath as the Chief Minister, while DK Shivakumar will be the Deputy CM. Sources said there is also a proposal for rotation of the chief minister’s post, which did not sit well with the DKS, but the issue has been resolved after the Gandhi family’s persuasion.

siddu’s swansong

There was definitely a race between Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar as to who would be the chief ministerial face of the Congress. However, the party high command decided to offer the coveted post to the popular leader who, as sources say, promised him the CM seat if he was willing to give up his demand of contesting from the Kolar part of the Varuna seat. Which he won. Difference of 46,006 votes.

Siddaramaiah had announced that this would be his last election and secretly hoped that a Congress victory and becoming chief minister once again would be the ‘perfect swansong’.

self-taught, seasoned politician

Born to Siddharama Gowda and Boramma in the remote village of Siddharamanhundi in Mysore district, Siddaramaiah, who goes by the same name, is the second of four brothers and a sister. He belongs to the Kuruba community (7 percent), which is considered the third most influential caste in Karnataka after Lingayats (17–18 percent) and Vokkaligas (15–16 percent).

The veteran politician, who carries the image of a rustic leader dressed in his classic white ‘pancha’ (dhoti) and crisp white kurta with a gold bordered ‘angavastra’ (traditional shawl), is not only recognized as one of the popular leaders of Karnataka but also the one who emerged as the undisputed leader of the Ahinda (a Kannada acronym for Alagitaru or minorities, Hindulidavaru or backward classes, and Dalitaru or Dalits).

The self-taught politician became a lawyer and later the Chief Minister of Karnataka in 2013 for educating himself by grazing cattle and plowing the fields. Apart from Devaraj Urs (1972–77), he is the only chief minister to complete five years in office in Karnataka. A protégé of HD Deve Gowda, Siddaramaiah had earlier narrowly escaped the chief minister’s job in 1996, when the then CM Deve Gowda was elected the Prime Minister of India.

From politician by chance to poster boy of Congress

Siddaramaiah’s political journey is studded with fortuitous encounters and vicissitudes of fortune. If not for an unfortunate meeting with advocate Nanjunda Swamy in 1978, he might never have ventured into the world of politics. Swamy, who saw him at a district court, was impressed by Siddaramaiah’s political acumen and urged him to move on. Thus began the veteran leader’s entry into the political arena.

A staunch socialist, Siddaramaiah’s political base was shaped by his admiration for Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia’s brand of socialism.

His political debut in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly was in 1983 after being elected on a Lok Dal ticket from the Chamundeshwari constituency. He later joined the Janata Party, which merged with other parties in the year 1988 to become the Janata Dal. A decade later, when the Janata Dal split into Janata Dal (United) and Janata Dal (Secular), Siddaramaiah decided to side with his mentor. HD Deve Gowda was made the state president of JDS.

In a dramatic turn of events, Siddaramaiah was expelled from the JD(S) in 2005 for anti-party activities. Undeterred, he decided to start his own regional party, ABPJD, but eventually joined the Congress in 2006. He subsequently won a by-election from the Chamundeshwari constituency in December 2007, cementing his position as a formidable force in Karnataka politics.

He is seen as a towering leader of the backward classes and one who initiated populist fortune schemes – Anna (rice), Ksheera (milk), Shaadi (marriage for the underprivileged), etc. He also has the distinction of presenting several. As the budget of seven states as Finance Minister. It is his charismatic and rustic manner of communication that has charmed his audience and at times left him speechless while addressing public meetings.

controversy’s favorite child

Siddaramaiah is known to be a man who does not mince his words, has been a target and has made several controversial statements during the elections.

He was targeted by Karnataka minister CN Ashwath Narayan, who remarked that Siddaramaiah should be “knocked out and sent like Tipu Sultan, the 18th-century ruler of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom”.

Siddaramaiah also courted controversy by calling BJP chief minister Basavaraj Bommai a corrupt Lingayat CM, which the party was quick to use against him, saying he was insulting the Lingayat community. He also called Bommai “a puppy who trembles in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi” and also said that Veer Savarkar was influenced by Hitler, to claim that he was a Hindu but he was against Hinduism because Hinduism is against the Constitution. is against.