New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) The Congress on Wednesday appointed former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly and ex-Minister S.R. Patil in the Legislative Council.
A statement issued by party General Secretary K.C. Venugopal said that the decision was taken by interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi with immediate effect.
Siddaramaiah will, however, no longer be part of the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body of the party.
“The party appreciates the contribution of Siddaramaiah as member of the Congress Working Committee,” the statement said.
Though there has been considerable anger brewing against him over his alleged involvement in destabilizing the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led Janata Dal-Secular-Congress coalition, naming Siddaramaiah as leader of opposition highlights the grip he has over the party, both at the Centre and the state.
Out of the 17 vacancies in the Karnataka Assembly, 15 will be headed to the bypolls in December. Siddaramaiah, who heads the Congress Legislature Party, was eager to be named as opposition leader, which gives him the opportunity not just to tighten his grip over party affairs but also corner the B.S. Yediyurappa government and target Prime Minister Narendra Modi-Home Minister Amit Shah duo over the inadequate relief to the state that recently suffered one of its worst floods in recent memory.