|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Karnataka: Siddaramaiah joins Congress
July 22, 2006 17:51 IST
Last Updated: July 22, 2006 18:58 IST
As the Janata Dal (Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition appeared fragile and ridden with controversy, Congress got a boost in Karnataka with former deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah, a known detractor of former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, joining the party on Saturday.
The prominent Other Backward Class leader, who is a friend-turned-foe of Gowda, gave indications that he would like to be a Congress chief minister whenever the party would come to power.
"I have joined the party without any condition...I am not joining the Congress with that ambition. But every leader wants to become something in politics. We are not sanyasins," he said when asked whether he would like to become chief minister.
Siddaramaiah, who quit his assembly seat early this week, had a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and later announced his joining the party accusing the former prime minister of 'burying' the JD(S) by joining hands with 'communal' BJP to gain power.
Siddaramaiah's entry into Congress came some six months after the JD(S) sprang a surprise on Congress when Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy broke away with rebel legislators to become the chief minister of JD(S)-BJP coalition toppling the government led by senior Congress leader Dharam Singh.
His joining the ruling party at the Centre has come at a time when the strains are growing in the JD(S)-BJP coalition with a saffron party member of legislative council making a direct charge of corruption against Kumaraswamy, triggering a controversy.
Congress leader A K Antony, in charge of party affairs in Karnataka, former chief minister Dharam Singh and senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and H K Patil were present.