75th birthday event to project Siddaramaiah as Karnataka CM face

  • Former chief minister Siddaramaiah, the man credited with uniting the Ahinda (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits) vote and bringing the BJP government to its knees over the iron ore mining scam, will have a dedicated ‘Siddaramotsava’ convention when he turns 75 on August 12.
  • His followers are planning a three-day mega convention in Davanagere to celebrate the milestone. The celebration comes at a time when a cold war is brewing between Siddaramaiah and KPCC president DK Shivakumar over the chief ministerial candidate. The event is seen as political muscle-flexing ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls.
  • Before joining Congress, Siddaramaiah held Ahinda conventions in 2005-06. The movement played an important role in his political career and he later became chief minister with full majority in 2013. A senior leader, requesting anonymity, said around 10 lakh people are expected to take part in the celebration. “Siddaramaiah was one of the few chief ministers to complete the full five-year term. He launched many pro-people schemes, including Anna Bhagya and Indira Canteen. Several experts will talk about such achievements of Siddaramaiah at the event,” the leader said.
  • A book on his achievements is also expected to be released. Many senior central leaders are likely to take part. The organisers are also planning to invite senior BJP leader BS Yediyurappa. Incidentally, Siddaramaiah was the only leader from Congress to take part in the birthday celebrations of Yediyurappa two years ago when the latter was the chief minister.
  • While sources said it is an attempt to project Siddaramaiah as the chief ministerial candidate, it may not go down well with Shivakumar. HC Mahadevappa, a close associate of Siddaramaiah, said that the issue has not been discussed formally in party forums. “We still have time for the celebrations as his birthday falls in August,” he said. Not revealing any further information, he said the party leaders are now busy with the Council and Rajya Sabha polls. Siddaramaiah, who lost the Assembly elections in 2018 at his home constituency Chamundeshwari in  Mysuru, had won from Badami in Bagalkot.
 Continuing his tirade against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah warned that Congress will launch a “chaddi burning” demonstration across the state if action is not taken against BJP workers, who allegedly assaulted NSUI members outside Education Minister BC Nagesh’s house in Tiptur, Tumakuru, recently. Siddaramaiah said the police action against NSUI workers was unwarranted as the protestors did not attempt to set fire to the house.


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