Congress leaders in Delhi indicate that the big decision could be announced by Tuesday evening
NEW DELHI: The suspense and drama surrounding Karnataka’s new chief minister are likely to come to an end by Tuesday evening as Congress’s state poll hero DK Shivakumar, after initially showing signs of defiance, finally reached New Delhi for a crucial huddle.
For the last four days, Congress has been holding marathon meetings to decide whether to continue with its proven administrator, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, or give a chance to its young and popular troubleshooter and capable organizer, DK Shivakumar – the state Congress president.
The main concern for Congress seems to be avoiding a situation like Rajasthan, where young Sachin Pilot – credited with bringing Congress to power in 2018 but later revolting against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot – lamented injustice, lack of recognition, and the Congress party’s unwillingness to make way for the new generation of leaders.
Shivakumar, however, has clarified that he does not intend to backstab or blackmail the party leadership into submitting to his demands. “I am a responsible man, and I don’t want to divide anyone here. Whether they like me or not, I will not backstab or blackmail anyone,” he said while heading to the Bengaluru airport for a flight to Delhi on Tuesday morning.
Shivakumar’s sudden announcement to visit New Delhi also came as a surprise for many. Until Monday evening, he was unwilling to meet the Gandhis in New Delhi, citing stomach pain and fever as the reasons for his decision to stay in Bengaluru, even as his rival Siddaramaiah was already in the national capital.
Whether they like me or not, I will not backstab or blackmail anyone.
Before heading to the airport, Shivakumar sent an unambiguous message to the Congress high command in New Delhi: his unwavering loyalty towards the Gandhis, the first family of India’s oldest political party. “Sonia Gandhi is our role model, and the Congress is a family for everyone,” Shivakumar said.
Just a day ago, Shivakumar, in the same breath, stated that he is a dedicated Congress worker but would not hesitate to protest “if necessary,” indicating that he was in no mood to easily drop his claim to the CM post. On Monday evening, he said that all 135 Congress MLAs, including Siddaramaiah, were supporting him for the top job.
The Congress leadership has received reports submitted by two senior Congress leaders who were sent to Karnataka to sense the mood on the ground and secret ballots cast by newly-elected party legislators to support a logical decision.
With Shivakumar’s brother DK Suresh having already met Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday evening and Shivakumar himself easing his stance, political observers believe that the big decision could be announced as soon as Tuesday evening.
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