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Siddaramaiah retires again? Is he serious this time?

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Bengaluru, Oct 18: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah once again announced retirement from active politics. He had made a similar announcement first before the 2013 elections and then before the 2018 Assembly polls. This time, he has announced retirement less than a year before 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Announcing his retirement for the third time, Siddaramaiah said that he retired from electoral politics but he added that his work for the party or people will not stop. His political career started with his entry to 7th Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1983 and he has so far contested 13 elections from 1983 to 2018.

Siddaramaiah retires again? Is he serious this time?

Citing his age for the very first time as one of the reasons to quit electoral politics, Siddaramaiah, said, "I have faced 13 elections so far and after completing my five-year term as MLA, I will not contest any more elections. I am already 71 years old."

Also Read | Karnataka bypolls 2018: Show of strength by political families

According to reports, there are speculations that the Congress is likely to insist on Siddaramaiah contesting the Lok Sabha polls. At a time when the party has decided to take on the BJP jointly with the JD(S).

Political analyst, Mahadev Prakash, says, "He (Siddaramaiah) had firmly declared his retirement in the last assembly elections. No need to read his statement between lines. He contested 2018 elections because he would have been CM for the second term had the Congress won ."

On the question who will replace Siddaramaiah, "Charges are there that Congress may weaken in his absence. If he retires, I don't see alternative leadership of his stature acceptable throughout the state," said Mahadev Prakash.

Also Read | Goa: More trouble for Congress as two more MLAs set to resign

Mahadev Prakash doubted that whether Deputy CM Dr G Parameshwara or Mallikarjun Kahrge have that stature. "However, DK Shivakumar has a chance. He is financially strong and not anti-Lingayat in his political posture. Lingayat s are comfortable with DKS leadership," added Mahadev Prakash.

Though Congress high-command is keen on Siddaramaiah's leadership, the time for his retirement seems to be fair for a graceful exit. First of all, Siddaramaiah has established son, Dr Yathindra is an MLA from Varuna constituency, in state politics. Most importantly, after losing power due to political blunder called separate religion status for Lingayat, Siddaramaiah still has considerable clout in Congress-JDS coalition as Congress Legislative Party chairman.

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