Senior Congress leader in Karnataka and former chief minister Siddaramaiah will be in Delhi on Tuesday following a call from the party high command and is expected to meet party president Sonia Gandhi amid a power tussle in the state which is gearing up for assembly elections in 2023.
Sources said the meeting is regarding the appointment of office-bearers and strategies for the Assembly elections.
Siddaramaiah’s Delhi visit assumes significance as a section of MLAs and leaders including Chickpet MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan and Kampli MLA J N Ganesh are openly backing him to lead the state in the event of the Congress getting majority in the 2023 polls, whereas others want the Congress state chief D K Shivakumar to take up the role.
The issue of projection of the chief ministerial candidate has embarrassed the party when it is still in the opposition.
A week after Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar would be visiting Delhi on July 26.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday in Bagalkote, Shivakumar said there is a national level meeting of Congress state presidents and the Congress legislative party leaders to discuss the strategy in the wake of the Monsoon Session of parliament from July 19 to August 13 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also learnt that the AICC national general secretary and party’s Karnataka in charge Randeep Singh Surjewala would also visit the state and hold meetings with office-bearers.
Meanwhile, an audio storm has hit the beleaguered ruling BJP in Karnataka, which has deepened the crisis and put question marks over the stability of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa government in the state.
In an alleged audio tape, state BJP president and MP Naleen Kumar Kateel is hinting at a possible change of leadership in Karnataka. In the leaked audio, which he claims fake, Kateel told someone in his mother tongue Tulu that Yediyurappa would be out soon and the new chief minister would come from New Delhi. He also adds that senior BJP leaders and ministers KS Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar would also be shown the door.
After this audio shook the party, Kateel has issued a statement claiming it is fake and he has even requested Yediyurappa to conduct a thorough probe into it. However, the latest development has worsened the already volatile political situation, dividing the party further.