problems within the victorious party as the Karnataka Congress is grappling with a predicament reminiscent of the “Rajasthan syndrome”
It appears that there are some issues within the winning party. The Karnataka Congress is haunted by the “Rajasthan syndrome,” as they face a dilemma between choosing Siddaramaiah, a charismatic leader, and DK Shivakumar, a wealthy politician, for the chief minister’s post.
This dilemma has been reflected in AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge booking hotel rooms for incumbent MLAs and the expected visit of party observers.While the visit of party observers is normal, it is strange to have them present after a resounding victory.
They will be in Bengaluru to collect feedback from each MLA to determine who is the better choice for the Congress as chief minister – Siddaramaiah or Shivakumar. However, media reports suggest that the party’s high command is supporting Shivakumar for the coveted job, as he has promised to deliver Karnataka to Sonia Gandhi’s fold.
If Shivakumar is indeed the chosen candidate, there are a few obstacles in his path to the chief minister’s office. Court cases regarding money laundering still haunt him, and he is currently on bail to avoid arrest and imprisonment. If he were to become chief minister and then be sent back to Tihar by the courts, it would damage the government’s image irreparably.
Siddaramaiah’s supporters will undoubtedly argue vehemently against Shivakumar’s selection to the party observers. Although Shivakumar has the high command’s blessings, Siddaramaiah commands more numbers. This is why the Rajasthan syndrome is haunting the Karnataka Congress.
In Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot is feuding with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for the coveted post, having played a significant role in bringing the Congress to power. He feels cheated for not receiving his due after Gehlot took the reins.
Before this, the Congress made the mistake of sidelining Jyotiraditya Scindia, who worked hard to bring the party to power in Madhya Pradesh. Kamal Nath was offered the cream, and this caused Scindia to rebel and bring down the Kamal Nath government by quitting the party along with his supporters and joining the BJP, which gave him a plum post in the central cabinet and his supporters in the state cabinet.
The situation in Karnataka is similar to what happened in Madhya Pradesh and is happening in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The feuding warhorses are attempting to checkmate each other to occupy the king’s seat.
The BJP may still have a chance to form a government, but this would not bode well for the party in the long run. It will be interesting to see how the saffron party reacts when the Madhya Pradesh situation repeats itself in Karnataka.