SENSATIONAL TWIST: Shivakumar cancels 3rd flight to Delhi amid Sidda-as-CM indications

State Congress president is adamant that he will be the next Karnataka CM; Cancels trip to Delhi

| Updated: 15 May, 2023 8:25 pm IST

BENGALURU: As the dust started to settle in after a thumping win in Karnataka, the battle for the top job took centre stage in Karnataka as the party’s state president DK Shivakumar cancelled his travel to New Delhi to meet party high command.

While veteran leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah made an emotional appeal for one last chance at the top job, DK Shivakumar is in no mood to let the opportunity slip out of his hands.

“The real decider of the CM post is SDPI which contributed to our manifesto. Siddaramaiah has a record of allowing unfettered growth of PFI and SDPI. We will not take chances with DK Sivakumar after both  Himanta (Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma) and Amarinder (former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh) left us to join the BJP,” a senior Congress worker, who worked in the war room of Karnataka Congress unit, told The New Indian.

“DK Shivakumar is adamant. He is not going to bargain for anything less than the CM’s post,” a source told The New Indian.

“If Siddaramaiah is made CM, there is no chance that Shivakumar will accept the role of Deputy CM,” the source added. “He is not going to be easy this time,” the source further said.

Sources also said that even if the party high command calls for power sharing, to placate two of its tallest leaders in the state, Shivakumar will want to be the CM first.

While Siddaramaiah had already met the party high command in New Delhi, Shivakumar said that he would visit his family deity first before going to Delhi.

“Today is my birthday. I will meet my family and pay respect to the family deity. I will then see if I can travel to Delhi,” he said.

However, sources told The New Indian that Shivakumar did not travel to New Delhi. “While he was supposed to travel to New Delhi in the evening, he remained at home, meeting his supporters who had come to wish him his birthday,” sources said.

Sources said that Shivakumar had cancelled two flights each from IndiGo and Vistara despite booking them in the morning. It is said that he cancelled the flight to give the party jitters and keep them on tenterhooks.

It is also learned that Sivakumar is in talks with as many as 29 MLAs, including two from the Old Mysuru region and coastal Karnataka, on what his next move may be in case he loses the race as CM to Siddaramaiah tonight.

Shivakumar, however, tried to cool the nerves, “I need to be on medication. So, I could not go to Delhi. Let us not get carried away by gossip.”

Sources also told The New Indian that his supporters are constantly raising the relevant points. “He (Shivakumar) has done so much hard work. It was his hard work that ensured such a huge win for the party. He should get the fruit of his hard work.”

While he did not say it in exact words, Shivakumar did highlight how he singlehandedly delivered Karnataka to Congress.

“I am a single man. I believe in one thing: A single man with courage makes a majority,” he had said earlier in the day.

“I don’t want to disclose what I have done in the last five years. But I will disclose it at an appropriate time in the future,” he had said.

Making an emotional pitch, Shivakumar said, “When we had a coalition, 15-16 MLAs deserted us. I did not lose heart then. With courage, I had taken the responsibility to deliver Karnataka to the Congress party. I had delivered on my promise. Now it is for the party high command to decide.”

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