The Congress is all set to form the next government in Karnataka and the race for the post of Chief Minister has become relatively simpler for the party. The loss of G Parameshwar who was one of the strongest contender for the post lost by a major margin at the Koratagere assembly constituency.
Parameshwar was the only major challenge to Siddaramaiah to the post of CM. Parameshwar who is the Congress chief of Karnataka could have claimed this post on the ground that he led the party to victory. However now he has lost that moral right to stake a claim to the top spot. The other problem that Parameshwar faces is that the Congress did not put up a good showing in the Tumkur belt. He was in charge here as he hails from the same belt. At the start of the elections it was clear that he would be a top contender to the post. However his claim had to be justified and he needed not only to win big, but also ensure that the candidates whom he gave tickets to won. Parameshwar said at his constituency that he is not disappointed and this is a rule of the elections. The people wanted a change I guess. However I am happy that the Congress has won. He however made it clear that he was unhappy with the manner in which the party had performed in Tumkur.
Siddaramaiah on the other hand would be smiling. Despite being the tallest leader in the party today he is still considered to be a new comer. He joined the party after quitting the JD(S) around 7 years back and many in the Congress feel that the post of the CM should go to an old war horse of the party.
However it is not easy for the Congress to negate a Siddaramaiah. He has been their star campaigner and if he is denied the post there is a good chance of him walking out with at least 30 MLAs.
Siddaramaiah looks to be the clear candidate and one must not be surprised if he is smiling after the loss of Parameshwar. Moreover this is his last shot at becoming the CM, a post that he has been yearning for since the past decade. His reason to quit the JD(S) was because Deve Gowda preferred a much junior H D Kumaraswamy over him to head the government.
Siddaramaiah has a good case before his high command. He has ensured that the party performed well and also won by a huge margin in Varuna. Moreover this is his last election and he would hope that the Congress would consider him for the post of CM. Siddaramaiah was however tight lipped and only stated that he was a contender. I leave it to the high command. I had expected a big win for both me and the Congress and that has happened.
He is now up against the likes of Mallikarjuna Kharge who has also been a contender to the post. However many in the Siddaramaiah camp believe that Kharge does not have the moral right to be CM. He has not been active in the state for the past four years. Moreover he has not even contested the elections this time. The other part of the issue is that there was a lot of resistance to his son Priyank Kharge being given a ticket from the Chittapur constituency. Kharge had agreed with his high command that he would not create an issue to become CM if his son was given a ticket.