Karnataka CM battle: What DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah told Congress high command | Karnataka Elections 2023

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Siddaramaiah is seen as the front-runner among the two while DK Shivakumar is seen taking a strong position, claiming that the polls were won under him.

DK Shivakumar

Image: Republic

Four days after the historic mandate in the Karnataka Assembly elections, Congress is yet to finalise its chief minister. With each day passing, the race for the top post has intensified between old warhorses — former CM Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief DK Shivakumar, with both leaders trying their best to take the top job in the southern state. AICC in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Surjewala said a decision on the Karnataka CM is likely by Wednesday or Thursday evening and a new cabinet will be in place in the next 48-72 hours. He asserted that Karnataka will have a five-year-long stable government.

According to sources, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi presented Shivakumar with two offers. He was given options of becoming Deputy CM and KPCC president now or becoming Chief Minister during the second term. Making his stand clear to become CM, Shivakumar said he does not want to work under Siddaramaiah and rejected both offers. He, however, proposed the name of Mallikarjun Kharge for the CM post.

Siddaramaiah is viewed as the front-runner among the two, while Shivakumar is seen taking a firm position, claiming that the assembly elections were won under him as state party chief and that he has worked hard for ensuring this victory. Here’s what both the leaders said while seeking the CM’s post.

What DK Shivakumar said on why he should be given the CM post

                                                                                                                                                         (As per sources)

  • In 2019, the party suffered a humiliating defeat and during that time I took over the reins of the party and got it victorious
  • It is my sole effort that the Congress party has secured 135 seats in the Assembly elections
  • I’m asking for what is mine and I have faith in the high command
  • Under Siddaramaiah’s rule from 2013-2018, Congress got the tag of “anti-Lingayats” and we lost the elections in 2018
  • Everybody knows who was responsible for the collapse of the JDS-Congress coalition government in 2018-2019
  • In this election, the Vokkaligas have voted en masse to the Congress which increased the vote share by 5 percent

What Siddaramaiah has said and why he should be given the CM post

  • The majority of the MLAs are supporting me and have cast vote in my favour
  • From 2013-2018, I have governed the state well and I should be given another chance
  • Ahinda and Dalit voters have stood by the Congress this time and this was possible because I toured the entire state
  • I have fought against the BJP both inside (as Leader of the Opposition) and outside the session 
  • My role is bigger in the party securing 135 seats
  • I have already announced that this is going to be my last election, therefore I should be made the CM.

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