Rustic in appearance at times,outspoken Siddaramaiah is not known to mince words and hide his ambitions.
And whenever some ruling BJP members tried to taunt him over his ambition,Siddaramaiah,Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly,used to get aggressive and declare without hesitation that he would become chief minister.
Today,he was proved right after being elected CLP leader and becoming Chief Minister-designate. Luck also seems to have played its part. The shock defeat of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwara in the May 5 Assembly elections made things that much easier for him.
With better hold among the legislators,Siddaramaiah,who has the distinction of presenting as many as seven state budgets as Finance Minister,could pip veteran Congress leader and Union Labour and Employment Minister M Mallikarjuna Kharge in a straight contest.
He narrowly missed the Chief Minister’s gaddi in 1996 after the incumbent H D Deve Gowda went on to become Prime Minister. Siddaramaiah,who hails from Kuruba community,the third largest,was pipped by J H Patel. Both under Deve Gowda and Patel,he served as Finance Minister.
After the split of Janata Dal as JDU and JDS,he sided with the latter headed by Deve Gowda and became president of the party’s state unit.
A product of ‘Janatha Pariwar’,influenced as he was by socialism advocated by Dr Ram Manohar Lohia,he bade adieu to his career as an advocate and entered political field.
Siddaramaiah made his debut in the Assembly in 1983 after being elected from Chamundeshwari constituency on a Lok Dal party ticket and later joined the ruling erstwhile Janatha Party.
He was the first Chairman of ‘Kannada Kavalu Samiti’,a watchdog committee which had the mandate to supervise the implementation of Kannada as official language formed during Ramakrishna Hegde’s chief ministership.
In the mid-term elections two years later,he was re-elected and served as Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services in the Hegde government.
After conducting three ‘AHINDA’ (Kannada acronym for minorities,backward classes and dalits) conventions during the period when he tried to position himself as backward classes leader,he was sacked from the JDS in 2005,at a time when Deve Gowda’s son H D Kumaraswamy was seen as a rising star of the party.
JDS critics say Siddaramaiah was removed as Deve Gowda was keen to promote Kumaraswamy as the party’s leader.
Siddaramaiah joined the Congress with his followers in 2006. In December 2007,he was elected in a by-election from Chamundeshwari in Mysore. He as Chairman of the KPCC Publicity committee of Elections in 2008.
Born on August 12,1948 at Siddaramanahundi,a village in Mysore district,Siddaramaiah hails from a poor farming community. He graduated from Mysore University with B.Sc. degree and later did his Law degree from the same University and pursued it as a profession for some time.