Rama Krishna Sangem
After tense five days of political drama, Congress found a solution to Karnataka leadership stalemate. Siddaramaiah will be the new chief minister and DK Shivakumar will be the only Deputy CM. The new government will take oath of office and secrecy in Bangalore at 12.30 noon on May 20, Saturday. DKS will continue as Pradesh Congress Committee president.
Though there is an agreement of power sharing between Sidda and DKS – that each will get 2.5 years term as CM, with Sidda getting the first chance, no official statement is made by either the high command or any of these two leaders. “We can do such issues public, if it is between two parties, but not within our own party,” said a senior Congress leader, while talking to Excel India on phone.
Congress Legislature Party meeting will be held on May 18, Thursday at 7 pm in Bangalore. Sidda’s name will be proposed by DKS and it will be seconded by two or three senior MLAs, representing different regions and social groups. Then, a delegation led by Sidda will meet Governor Thavar Chand Gehlot in Raj Bhavan and stake claim to form a government. The Governor will nominate Sidda as CM and fix the swearing in ceremony time.
Both Sidda and DKS confirmed their new roles in the Government. While Sidda tweeted that they will work unitedly for the welfare of people of Karnataka, DKS too said he would join the new government in the larger interests of party and people. In a symbolic way, they together are set to travel by a special flight from Delhi to Bangalore to project a unity picture to their cadre and public. They posed a photo with Kharge, with hands raised.
Congress high command relieved
With this, Congress top brass can heave a sigh of relief for now. It will have an able and seasoned CM in Siddaramaiah who can fulfill the five guarantees to people of Karnataka in the first few months. This will help the party perform better in coming Lok Sabha elections just eight to 10 months away. Congress is keen on seeing that BJP doesn’t go away with a majority of MPs seats like time (BJP got 25 out of 28 MPs in 2019).
The entire stalemate was resolved by two leaders at the high command level – one is Rahul Gandhi and other is Mallikarjuna Kharge, AICC president. Interestingly, Sonia or Priyanka Gndhi haven’t played a role in the talks, though they vigorously campaigned for the party. This is a sort of training for Rahul Gandhi in resolving state level disputes between warring rivals.