Kharge for Sidda, but DKS for Kharge


Rama Krishna Sangem

Karnataka politics have turned curious as Congress is unable to chose a CM candidate even four days of assembly election results are announced. The stalemate on the next CM continued on May 17, Wednesday, as both the main contenders – Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar -have remained firm on their stand –  each is keen to get the CM post first, even if it is to be split into 2-3 years slots.

What’s surprising or shocking is utter lack of communication and coordination between Sidda and DKS – since the results were declared on May 13. Though both the leaders were in Bangalore first and then in Delhi for the last two days, they haven’t met or spoken to each other. The situation reached a point where DKS proposed the name of AICC president Mallikarjuna Kharge for the CM post, but not Sidda. Of course, Kharge is not interested in it.


2 – 3 years formula

Intense discussions and consultations are on in Delhi for the last three days, among four players –Rahul Gandhi, Kharge,  Sidda and DKS, in multiple rounds. Sidda who got the support of majority MLAs at the Congress Legislature Party meeting on May 14, proposed that he would become CM for the first  2 years, after that DKS can take up the post for the remaining 3 years period. 

Sidda’s argument is that he would lead the party to next Lok Sabha electons in 2024  and a little beyond in view of his vast experience in governance. He can efficiently implement the Five Guarantees – poll promises – the party – which is crucial for Congress win in LS elections. At the same time, Sidda also mentioned various cases against DKS with CBI and ED, which may affect him to become CM.

This 2 – 3 years power sharing formula is Okay with Rahul  and Kharge. Rahul asked Kharge to convey this decision through a media release by May 17 afternoon. But, DKS who met them separately made it clear he will never accept Sidda as CM even for the first 2 years. “Make me the first CM or make Kharge, the neutral candidate, as CM. Because, I cannot trust Sidda would vacate the CM post after 2 years,” is the stand of DKS.

DKS who briefly spoke to media outside his brother DK Suresh, Bangalore Rural MP, house in Delhi and said that some people are floating gossips and urged people not to believe them. “They are all gossips, please don’t believe them, they are are not right,” he said. On the other hand, Sidda remained serious and refused to speak to media throughout the day. Obviously Sidda is completely unhappy over the way CM issue is handled by the high command.

Sources from AICC like Randeep Surjewala have been telling  the media that the issue would be solved by May 17 evening and the swearing in of CM would take place as scheduled on May 18, Thursday. They also said, DKS would take Deputy CM post for the next two years. But, DKS declined Dy CM post and said, he would remain an MLA if Sidda becomes CM. This has delayed the declaration of Sdda as the next CM by the high command.

Apparently, the relations between Sidda and DKS have turned bad, though we cannot beyond repair. Already, there is unease in Karnataka Congress over five days delay in finalizing a CM name even after winning a thumping victory by winning 135 out of 224 MLAs in the elections. Some supporters of DKS told media in Delhi on Wednesday evening that it will take one or two more days to sort out the issues. So, the delay will continue.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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