Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah is set to be the next Karnataka chief minister, the Congress senior leadership decided after days of deliberation and much speculation.
DK Shivakumar, the other contender for the top post, has accepted the deputy chief ministerial post, subject to certain conditions.
The conditions are largely being seen as a possible power-sharing pact with Siddaramaiah for half of the tenure.
This is yet to be worked out, as the latter takes oath on May 20.
‘It is in the interest of Party keeping 2024 General election in mind, we have to deliver our promises to the people of Karnataka. I’m happy with the decision taken by Congress leadership,’ said the KPCC president.
Shivakumar is expected to get important portfolios in the state Cabinet, sources say.
After a meeting of all the 135 Congress MLAs was first held, there was much suspense over who would be the next Karnataka CM.
Multiple rounds of discussions were held on Wednesday between Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former chief Rahul Gandhi.
Shivakumar was also present in the meeting to work out a solution. Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar also separately met Kharge and Gandhi in Delhi.
The Congress secured a resounding victory in the May 10 Karnataka Assembly election, winning 135 of the 224 seats, ousting the BJP from power. The BJP was a distant second with 66 seats and the JD(S), which had hoped to play the kingmaker, was down with just 19 seats. Since then, the party was facing the challenging task of appointing the next chief minister of the state.
There was much noise that cases filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), ED and the Income Tax department would hamper Siddaramaiah’s rival DK Shivakumar’s chances to take the top job?
Based on the information by the ED and IT, the CBI registered a case against Shivakumar and others in 2020 on allegations of the acquisition of disproportionate assets, the heating for which is scheduled for July 14 in the Supreme Court.