Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sidda as CM, DKS as DyCM of Karnataka

In a midnight breakthrough to the stalemate over the top job in Karnataka, Congress has decided to appoint 75-year-old Siddaramaiah as chief minister and D.K. Shivakumar as his deputy in the southern State. The oath-taking ceremony is to take place in Bengaluru on May 20.
The formula was arrived at about 2 a.m. in Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence. This followed tense negotiations between Shivakumar, who was not ready to stand down, and the party high command among whom Sonia Gandhi is believed to have played a crucial role in turning him around.
Announcing the decision, senior Congress leader K.C. Venugopal said, “After taking the opinion of the MLAs as and consultations with Sonia and Rahul, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has decided that Siddaramaiah will be chief minister of Karnataka. D. K. Shivakumar will be Deputy Chief Minister. He will be the only Deputy CM…”
Karnataka CM-designate Siddaramaiah and his deputy-to-be DK Shivakumar led a Congress delegation late on Thursday and met Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot to stake claim to form the next government. This came after the Congress Legislature Party formally elected Siddaramaiah as its leader. The Governor accepted their claim and invited them to take oath on Saturday (May 20).
Shivakumar moved the proposal to elect Siddaramaiah as the legislative party leader after the commencement of the meeting and it was supported by all the 135 MLAs.
Power sharing: There were reports that the central leadership had proposed a power-sharing formula as per which Siddaramaiah will remain as the chief minister for the first two and a half years and then hand over the post to Shivakumar. Venugopal, however, dismissed any such proposal and said the only formula is to share the power with the people of Karnataka. “Ours is a democratic party, we believe in consensus and not in dictatorship,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with India Today, Shivakumar did not wish to comment on reports about power-sharing but at the same time said that the “party will take a call at an appropriate time.”
NDTV reported that there is a rough understanding of a 50:50 power sharing, under which Shivakumar can succeed Siddaramaiah in the top post after two and a half years, but this will hinge on the party’s performance in the state in next year’s Lok Sabha elections. Karnataka has 28 Lok Sabha seats.
PTI, quoting sources, reported that around 20 ministers will also be sworn in along with the chief minister and deputy chief minister, including some from the state legislative council, on Saturday.
Senior leaders including party president Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and chief ministers of the Congress ruled states are expected to attend the oath taking ceremony.
The Congress has also invited like-minded parties and their leaders, including Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Telangana CM Chandrashekhar Rao, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to the swearing in.
Invitation has also been extended to several other opposition leaders including Sitaram Yechuri, Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah and Akhilesh Yadav.


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