With the return of DK Shivakumar, speculations are rife that the Congress is planning to allot a key role for the party's troubleshooter to cast in the dominant Vokkaliga community for the upcoming by-polls.
Rumour says that DK Shivakumar is eyeing for the presidential post of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), which is currently held by Dinesh Gundurao. He had reportedly lobbied for the post before getting arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the money laundering case.
Congress in Karnataka believes that to hold power in the state the party should have the support of dominant communities like Vokkaligas and Lingayats. According to some party leaders, alliance with JD(S) was a mistake as many of the Congress leaders shifted to BJP after this and the coalition government was also not successful.
The party leadership in the state has changed after Shivakumar's arrest and Siddaramiah's appointment as the opposition leader. With the return of the Congress strongman, the party is in a state of tussle over its leadership as DK Shivakumar has a stronghold in the state just like Siddaramaiah.
What does the Congress high command believe?
The state Congress and high command believe that Shivakumar's release will be a boon for the party for the upcoming by-polls for 15 assembly constituencies. With DKS back in the game of power politics it will be east for the party to gather votes from the Vokkaliga community and his influence in the party high command will also play a major part.
Not just dominant groups, Congress will also have to attract the backward classes to gain momentum for the upcoming elections. The party will be united with a divided rule as opposition leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah will lead the backward classes, DKS will lead the Vokkaligas and Dalits will be led by G Parameshwara and Mallikarjun Kharge.