Siddaramaiah Chosen as Karnataka Chief Minister in Congress’ High-Stakes Decision
After intense deliberations and high-level meetings, the Congress party has officially declared Siddaramaiah as the next Chief Minister of Karnataka, with D K Shivakumar as his deputy. The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) held a meeting in Bengaluru, where Siddaramaiah was formally elected as the leader, paving the way for his ascension to the role of CM. While Shivakumar will continue as the state chief until the conclusion of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the much-anticipated oath-taking ceremony is scheduled for May 20, a week after the state election results were announced.
Congress Elects Siddaramaiah as Karnataka Chief Minister
The Congress party, after several days of deliberation, announced Siddaramaiah as the next Chief Minister of Karnataka. Siddaramaiah’s vast experience and popularity made him an obvious choice, while Shivakumar’s efforts as the state party president played a crucial role in the Congress’ return to power. The decision was made during the Congress Legislature Party meeting in Bengaluru on May 14, where Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress chief, was authorized to make the challenging decision.
Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar’s Claim to Power
Following the Congress Legislature Party meeting, both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar asserted their right to the top post, leading to tense talks within the party. Siddaramaiah, a former Chief Minister, enjoyed widespread support due to his experience, while Shivakumar emphasized that the party’s victory in 135 seats was achieved under his leadership as the state party president.
Intense Negotiations and Consultations
In the aftermath of the internal disputes, Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar flew to Delhi to garner support for their respective claims. Meetings were held with top leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, KC Venugopal, Randeep Surjewala, and Mallikarjun Kharge, who listened to suggestions and proposed formulas to address the conflicting interests. UPA president Sonia Gandhi was also consulted during this process, and Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar individually met with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to resolve the matter.
A Resolution Amidst Compromises
The final round of talks took place on May 17 when Rahul Gandhi met with both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar. Sonia Gandhi, although on vacation in Shimla, advised Shivakumar to communicate with Kharge and Rahul to find a solution. Following Rahul’s suggestion to hold discussions with Venugopal and Surjewala, the party chief urged Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar to reconcile their differences and agree to Siddaramaiah’s appointment as CM. As a result, a decision was reached in the early hours of Thursday, accommodating confidantes of both leaders in the government.
Oath-Taking Ceremony and Future Plans
The oath-taking ceremony for Siddaramaiah and his cabinet is scheduled for May 20. Additionally, Shivakumar, as the only Deputy Chief Minister, will maintain his position in the Karnataka government. Around 20 ministers are also expected to be sworn in alongside them. This strategic arrangement aims to balance the interests of both leaders and ensure a unified approach as the state heads into the next year’s Parliamentary elections.