S.M. Krishna, who was recently dropped from the Ministry of External Affairs, will not play a major role in the politics of his home state Karnataka.
According to reports, Krishna was expected to devote more time to Karnataka after the Cabinet reshuffle, but a senior Congress leader told The Sunday Guardian that he did not expect Krishna to be actively involved in the state, which goes to poll in May this year.
"Not very much, unfortunately. He still has a lot of good-will left. He has been very busy of late as he had a hectic time as a Foreign Minister. His presence will be felt as a member of the Congress Working Committee," the Congress leader said.
Krishna, who was inducted into the Karnataka Congress Working Committee after the reshuffle, also missed the Chintan Shivir, the Congress' brainstorming session held at Jaipur earlier this month right before polls to several states including Karnataka.
The senior leader said that local leadership, especially state Congress president G. Parameshwara and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaih, was capable of winning the next Assembly elections. "In Krishna's absence, others have worked hard, made mistakes and learnt their lessons," he said.
Asked if Siddarmaih, who has been Karnataka deputy chief minister twice, could be the party's CM candidate, he did not deny it but added that G. Parameshwra has also been a minister in the past and would be a suitable candidate too.
The Congress is in poll-mode, having already announced its Campaign Committee on 23 January, the same day the MLAs offered to resign. Madhusudan Mistry, the AICC in-charge of the state, pointed that out as evidence of the party's electoral preparedness. He added that the list of candidates should be ready by mid-February. "After the customary 'gestation period', a final list would be ready by early March," he said. He stated that Krishna "is playing a role and he will continue to play (one)" in state politics. D. Shivakumar, the co-chairman of the party, belonging to the Vokkaliga caste, is considered a close associate of Krishna, who has been CM of the state.