Karnataka CM battle: DK Shivakumar turns down multiple options from Congress as stalemate continues
Stalemate between the Congress top brass and Karnataka unit chief DK Shivakumar continues over the Chief Minister post as latter has reportedly turned down several offers made to him by party president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leader Rahul Gandhi.
Quoting sources, an NDTV report said that Kharge and Gandhi made two offers to DK Shivakumar in a two-hour meeting at Delhi today but the Karnataka Congress leader turned down both options.
As per the report, the Congress high command offered Shivakumar the chair of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister—which he will not share with anyone, and six ministries of his choosing. He would also continue to head the state unit of the party.
Another offer pitched by the Congress was the idea of power sharing between Siddaramaiah—who the party seems determined to hand a second term as Chief Minister—and Shivakumar.
This would’ve meant that Siddaramaiah would head the government as Chief Minister for the first two years and then Shivakumar would ascend to the top post for the next three years.
However, the option was reportedly turned down by both leaders as both Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah want a shot at the Chief Minister’s chair first.
According to reports, Shivakumar has been adamant on becoming the next chief minister of Karnataka citing his work in rebuilding the party in the state over the last four years after the debacle of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government’s collapse which happened when a good portion of the party’s MLAs walked out.
Shivakumar is also a big name among the politically Vokkaligas while Siddaramaiah is backed by the AHINDA—a traditional Congress vote bank that consists of minorities, Other Backward Classes, and Dalits.
Earlier, another media report, quoting sources, had claimed that Siddaramaiah will be next chief minister of the state and state party chief DK Shivakumar will be his deputy.
According to an India Today report, after days of deliberating, the Congress high command has finally made up their mind and green-lighted Siddaramaiah as the next chief minister of Karnataka with DK Shivakumar likely to be given the deputy CM responsibilities.
The report, quoting Congress sources, said that Siddaramaiah will likely be sworn-in on Thursday afternoon and will take the oath alone.
A Congress legislator party meeting will also be called tomorrow at Kanteerava Stadium around 3.30 pm, the report said.
Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah were the main contenders for the state’s top post after the grand old party registered a thumping victory in last week’s Assembly elections by winning 135 out of the 224 seats.
Shivakumar, who along with Siddaramaiah, was the backbone of the Congress campaign that ousted the BJP from power in the recently held elections, is likely to be offered coveted portfolios along with the Deputy CM chair, the report said.