15 May 2023

Congress In Dilemma In Karnataka Despite Landslide Victory

Bengaluru: The newly elected Congress MLAs have left it to party president Mallikarjun Kharge to decide who will be the Chief Minister in Karnataka.

The Congress party, which registered a big victory in the Karnataka assembly elections, is now seen in a big dilemma. This dilemma is to choose the name of the Chief Minister of the state, on which no decision could be taken even in the meeting of the Legislature Party held on Sunday.

Party's state president DK Shivakumar and former CM Siddaramaiah are leading in the race for the post of CM.

No consensus on any name in the meeting

After 24 hours of the bumper victory in Karnataka on Saturday, the party called a meeting of the Legislature Party on Sunday. But due to no consensus on any name, the task of selecting Siddaramaiah or DK Shivakumar for the CM post has now been given to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge.

The meeting of the Congress Legislature Party had started at 6.30 pm on Sunday evening, but State President DK Shivkumar reached the meeting at 7.15 pm, that too after President Kharge made a call.

All the newly elected Congress MLAs from Karnataka met in Bengaluru on Sunday evening and authorized party president Mallikarjun Kharge to select the CM, Jairam Ramesh, in-charge of the Congress communications department, told late Sunday night.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and party leaders Jitendra Singh and Deepak Babaria were present in the meeting as observers.

Party leaders like Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, KC Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh and others also attended the meeting.

"Entire process of meeting individual legislators of Congress party has been completed with great harmony. The observers met all the MLAs separately and recorded their views and now they will submit a report to the Congress leadership and after that, we will announce the next leader of the Congress Legislature Party," Surjewala further told reporters.

Top contenders likely to meet Sonia, Rahul

With the ball now in Kharge's court, the top contenders are also likely to meet Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.

Former Karnataka minister Basavaraj Rayareddy said, "A stable government is most important. It would be better to have only one CM for five years. Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar are capable. Shivakumar has worked hard to build the party, but Siddaramaiah is popular among the people. If you ask me, Siddaramaiah should be made the CM for five years, but the decision rests with the high command."

Both Siddaramaiah & Shivakumar claim support of 70% MLAs

Siddaramaiah's supporters claim that out of 136 Congress MLAs who won the assembly elections, 70% are in favor of making Siddaramaiah the CM. At the same time, Shivakumar's supporters are also making similar claims.

Shivakumar's  supporters say he deserves to be the CM by any measure. He has worked hard for the party, he should be rewarded for it. Usually, when a party wins the election, its state president is given the post.

According to reports, DK Shivakumar's faction says that their leader has the support of MLAs coming from both the big communities like Vokkaligas and Lingayats. The Congress has 37 MLAs from the Lingayat and 29 Vokkaliga communities in Karnataka.

Meanwhile, prominent Vokkaliga pontiff of Adi Chunchanagiri Nirmalananda Natha Swamiji on Sunday appealed to the Congress leadership to appoint Karnataka party unit president DK Shivakumar as the next chief minister of the state.

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