Sidda wins Karnataka CM race, DKS settles for his deputy

DK Shivakumar has accepted the party’s decision “in larger interest”

| Updated: 18 May, 2023 11:10 am IST
Solidarity: Karnataka contenders Siddaramaiah (right) and DK Shivakumar post with Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge after CM resolution plan on Thursday morning.

NEW DELHI: Ending 4-day-long suspense, Congress has finally arrived a solution to settle the dispute between regional heavyweights Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar over claim on the Karnataka chief minister’s position with the latter forced to bite the bullet.

As part of the compromise deal, septuagenarian Siddaramaiah – having a proven track record in running administration – has been chosen for the top post while relatively young Shivakumar – the state Congress chief credited for the party’s landslide victory – will have to settle for the position of his deputy.

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The midnight decision followed hours of meeting between Shivakumar and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge – who comes from northern Karnataka, and the party’s de-facto chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday.

Rahul Gandhi is believed to have stamped Siddaramaiah as next CM

In a statement on Thursday, Shivakumar said that he had accepted the party’s decision in the “larger interest of the party” ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. “More responsibility is on me now to serve Karnataka. We have to deliver,” he said.

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There are talks that the Congress leadership that Shivakumar would be elevated to the post of the chief minister after two years.

In the May 10 polls, the Congress party emerged victorious, securing a decisive mandate by winning 135 out of the 224 seats to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power. The BJP ended up at a distant second with 66 seats, while the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S), which hoped to play the kingmaker, was left with a meager 19 seats.

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The oath ceremony for Siddaramaiah as Chief Minister and Shivakumar as Deputy Chief Minister is scheduled to take place in Bengaluru on May 20. Sources within the Congress party reveal that approximately 30 Congress MLAs and MLCs will also be sworn in as state ministers by Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot. Furthermore, it is anticipated that four additional ministers will be inducted into the state Cabinet at a later stage.

Newly-elected Congress MLAs, collectively known as the Congress Legislative Party (CLP), will meet in Bengaluru on Thursday evening to formally elect their leader – Siddaramaiah.

On Sunday, the CLP had authorized the Congress president to take a decision on the chief minister’s post.

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