Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been appointed as Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, amid reports of tension in the Congress over the post. Senior party leader SR Patil will spearhead the Opposition in the legislative council of the bicameral state, the party announced on Wednesday.
"Honourable Congress President has appointed Shri Siddaramaiah as Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and Shri SR Patil as the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council in Karnataka with immediate effect," a Congress statement said.
Apart from Siddaramaiah, senior Congress leaders HK Patil and G Parameshwara were reportedly vying for the post.
Ahead of a meeting of Congress leaders to decide the new Leader of Opposition, HK Patil had denied reports of a tussle in the party.
"Nothing is going on between any personalities. Not between me and anybody else. The party high command has sent Madhusudan Mistry to interact with our state leaders to know who should get different posts. We have given our opinions. He has taken the report and gone back to Delhi to our President (Sonia Gandhi)," he had said.
The Congress has had a rough few months in Karnataka. After winning just two seats in the national election in May, the party and its ally Janata Dal Secular had faced a rebellion in which 16 of their lawmakers quit the assembly. The alliance partners eventually lost power after they failed to prove majority in the state assembly.
Recently, JDS chief HD Deve Gowda's remark that the Congress had been "wrong" in appointing HD Kumaraswamy as the chief minister without consulting Siddaramaiah, had triggered a war of words.
Siddaramaiah had hit back, saying the two leaders were responsible for the national election debacle.
"Deve Gowda has made some allegations against me. They are all baseless, politically motivated and false. Gowda never allowed someone else to grow. They JDS do not even let people from their own caste grow. I have friends in all castes and in all parties," Mr Siddaramaiah had said.
Last month, the JDS chief had said that his party must contest independently should there be a mid-term election.
"Will not still commit that mistake.Let's face all the elections independently," he had said. .