Former Karnataka minister Ramalinga Reddy on Tuesday joined a growing list of senior Congress leaders to come out in the open blaming the party’s leadership for the debacle in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
Former minister, in a series of tweets Tuesday morning, laid out his version of why the Congress faced defeat at the hands of the BJP, which swept the Lok Sabha polls winning 25 out of 28 seats in the state. “Neglecting senior Congressmen in the government and the lack of organisational foresightedness of some ministers resulted in the bad defeat. Prime reasons also include not listening to the advise of seniors and the performance of some ministers,” Reddy wrote.
It is widely known that Reddy has been disgruntled ever since the Congress-JD(S) coalition came to power a year ago. Reddy, who was a minister in the previous Siddaramaiah-led Congress regime, was not inducted into the Cabinet led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. His outburst now comes at a time when the coalition is considering rejigging the Cabinet to douse dissidence in the backdrop of the Lok Sabha drubbing.
Reddy, who represents the BTM Layout constituency in Bengaluru, fanned the ‘native vs immigrant’ debate in the Congress. “Today’s situation is the result of having laid out a red carpet for newbies and immigrants who know nothing, both in the party as well as in the government,” he said.
“The state’s frontline leaders as well as in-charges stumbled when it came to resolving internal differences,” Reddy wrote. “Despite Congress being in power, our party workers had lost enthusiasm during the election. This is primarily because there was no cordial relationship and coordination between Congress ministers and party workers. Plus, seniors and party workers were neglected,” he reiterated.
Going forward, Reddy urged the leadership to set things right. “In order to face the challenging days ahead, the party and the government must address the fact that seniors have been neglected.”
He cautioned the party that it must not allow any seniors to quit the party. “If the situation continues like this, it’ll be difficult for senior leaders to be in the party,” he said. Those ministers who failed to deliver in the Lok Sabha polls should be relegated with organisational positions in the party, Reddy suggested.
“And seniors should be given place in the government so that the existing internal imbalance is addressed.” While Reddy’s remarks may be seen as posturing in the backdrop of a possible Cabinet rejig, it underlines the disgruntlement held by senior Congress leaders.