27 September Wednesday

Announcement Prolongs; Marathon Discussions Fail To Hit Final; Neither Will Back Down

CorrespondentUpdated: Wednesday May 17, 2023

New Delhi : Despite landslide victory in Karnataka, Congress remains in a bind on who the next Chief Minister should be. Neither former chief minister Siddaramaiah nor PCC President DK Shivakumar  show any sign of compromising demand for CM post.  Shivakumar,  reached Delhi by  Tuesday noon and thumped in his demand. Differences over ministers and portfolios, has compounded dilemma for Congress still further. Party  sources, said AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge will hold talks with Karnataka leaders and  final decision would be delayed  until then.  Meanwhile former deputy Chief Minister G Parmeswar said he was willing for the top post, if High Command instructed so.

Rahul Gandhi held discussions with Kharge over one-and-half hours. Following this, Shivakumar reached Kharge’s residence and the two discussed.  Kharge merely sought Shivakumar’s opinion, said  Shivakumar’s supporters.

According to reports, Shivakumar opened his mind on the misrule while Siddaramaiah’s was the Chief Minister and said there was no need to offer the position once more. Soon after Shivakumar left,Siddaramaiah arrived at Kharge’s residence.

Later, speaking with the media, Shivakumar said he would not backstab or blackmail anyone and that Congress leadership can take its decision on the matter. Shivakumar  initially put off his trip to Delhi on health grounds, but flew in anyway.

Siddaramaiah enjoys support of majority MLAs. However, heads of the Lingayat and Vokaliga communities favour Shivakumar.  Also, according to Party circles, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanaka too prefer Shivakumar over his competitor. Disproportionate wealth case looming over Siddaramaiah is a sore point.