Why is senior Congressman B.K. Hariprasad angry against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah?
By Manjunath K. Shresthi
September 11, 2023
The Indian National Congress (INC) party in Karnataka had high hopes riding on the southern state, and the party returned back to power in May 2023, with an overwhelming majority. It won 136 seats of the 224 total seats in the assembly. D.K. Shivakumar, the current Dy. CM (DCM), was instrumental in the party coming back to power. But Siddaramaiah, former CM from 2013-18, was second time lucky, when the high command put him back in the CM’s chair again in May 2023. But along with DK Shivakumar, there have been other senior leaders who have been party loyalists since decades. And one of them is senior Congress man, B.K. Hariprasad (BKH): a known Gandhi family loyalist; former Rajya Sabha MP (2014-2020) and now MLC since 2020. He’s also an excellent orator and known to take a tough stand for the party’s interests, and does not mince his words when angry and deeply hurt.
Since the Congress government is back in the saddle, and the party is now keeping promises about the guarantees it made to the people during elections. CM Siddaramaiah, considered an outsider in the party even today by some. And some of the leaders are not too happy with the functioning of the party, some stay quiet and others vent their anger. B.K. Hariprasad, had even before openly threatened that he could make the career of Chief Ministers and also knew how to get them down from the chief minister’s chair? It’s natural for any politician wanting to become a Minister, but BKH’s name has been turned down by the Siddaramaiah. The current CM has his own die-hard supporters in the party, and he’ has delivered on making them Ministers in his Cabinet. The CM’s actions have not gone done well with some of the senior party members and they are openly venting their anger.
B.K. Hariparasad grabbed headlines again when he openly spoke against Siddaramaiah at the recently held meeting of backward classes at Palace grounds in Bengaluru, and addressed the Adiga, Billava, Namadhari and Deevar communities. The event saw participation of leaders from different political parties, and religious heads to safeguard the interests of people from the community. BKH spoke, that “as long as he lived, he’d fight for the rights of the oppressed communities”. He had words of praise for his colleagues from the backward communities and Ministers in the current Congress cabinet, that they too were capable enough of becoming Chief Ministers and Dy. CM. The current Chief Minister by travelling in late Devaraj Urs vehicle, did not mean that his principles were being followed and the cause he stood for. BKH had equally strong words, about the CM’s Hublot watch and also his attire.
The Congress party’s spokespersons and leaders talk about winning 20 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming general elections in 2024. But will BKH’s outburst harm the party’s poll prospects in the Lok Sabha elections? The community is known to have the required numbers in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshin Kannada and Shivamogga.