Rehashing a claim made in the run-up to the 2018 assembly polls that he was contesting the last election of his political career, former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday (Apr 19) anointed his son Yathindra and grandson Dhawan Rakesh as his successors in electoral politics.
Addressing a large gathering near Nanjangud before proceeding to file his nomination papers for the Varuna Assembly segment, Siddaramaiah said the upcoming state elections would be the last time he will be directly entering the electoral fray.
Interestingly the former CM made a similar claim in the run-up to the 2018 elections, but he did not operationalise the promise.
Siddaramaiah has won twice (2008 and 2013) from Varuna and five times including one by-election (1983, 1985, 1994, 2004 and 2006) from the neighbouring Chamundeshwari in Mysuru district. However he suffered a defeat in Chamundeshwari in 2018 elections despite being the incumbet CM.
Siddaramaiah, however, clarified that he is bidding adieu only to electoral politics but will continue to be in active politics to continue his 'crusade' for 'social justice' and upholding the values of 'secularism'.
The highlight of the rally was the former CM introducing his grandson Dhawan Rakesh, the son of late Rakesh Siddaramaiah. Dhawan, who accompanied Siddaramaiah on a special flight from Bengaluru, was given a grand welcome by the followers of the former CM.
Anointing his son Yathindra and grandson Dhawan as his political heirs, Siddaramaiah spoke about his 17-year-old grandson's deep interest in politics.
"My grandson is still young and studying in pre-university. He wished to know how nomination papers are filed and how campaigning is done. So, he came with me. His father [Rakesh] was very interested in politics but died early," a visibly proud Siddaramaiah told reporters.
“After completing my Law studies, I have plans to enter politics. I have voluntarily come here only to learn about the fundamentals of politics from my grandfather Siddharamaiah, who has been in politics for decades. I am getting prepared to serve the people after completing my studies." Dhawan said during the rally
Dhawan, currently pursuing his schooling in the upscale Canadian International School in Bengaluru, told local media that he is deeply engaged in politics and definitely aspired to follow his grandfather's footsteps to the state's top office.
“I like studying law and look up to B.R. Ambedkar”, he said while adding that he wants to enter politics and serve the people like his grandfather.
Dhawan is the son of former CM's son Rakesh Siddaramaiah, who died after a protracted illness.
Rakesh ventured into politics after his cinema ambitions did not materialise and was groomed to take over his father's mantle. He was slated to be fielded in the family stronghold of Varuna. However, Rakesh died of pancreas-related complications during a trip to Europe in 2016.
Due to Rakesh's death, Siddaramaiah was forced to field his younger son Yathindra from Varuna in the 2018 assembly elections. Yathindra, who courted a major controversy after a firm linked to him landed a contract for providing medical services to state-run hospitals, was seen as a reluctant entrant to politics.
A doctor by profession, Yathindra eventually took the political plunge and managed to win on debut from Varuna.
Siddaramaiah appealed to his supporters to shower the same love and admiration for Dhawan as they did for his late son Rakesh.
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