Sun. May 26th, 2024

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'Had You Been Made Chief Minister...': DK Shivakumar To Congress Chief

New Delhi:

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar — who so far has been firm on his demand for the Chief Minister post — is understood to have told party president Mallikarjun Kharge this evening that he is ready to work as an “ordinary MLA” if he does not get the Chief Minister’s post. Sources said while Mr Shivakumar presented his case for the top post, he had also pointed out that Mr Kharge himself, despite his stature and position, never became a Chief Minister.

“I don’t mind if you become the Chief Minister,” sources quoted him as telling Mr Kharge during their one-on-one this evening.

Mr Shivakumar also said he has not been told that his arch-rival and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be the next Chief Minister. Only his opinion was asked on the issue.

“If I do not get the Chief Minister’s post, I am ready to work as an ordinary MLA. Ever since Siddaramaiah joined the party, he has always been in power, either as an LOP or as the Chief Minister,” sources quoted him as telling Mr Kharge.

The Congress chief met the two contenders today before taking a call on the knotty question of who would become the Chief Minister of Karnataka, a state the party won on Saturday with a massive mandate. But the question of the top post has been giving the party a headache, in view of its implications for the general election next year.

The party had sent observers to meet the new MLAs individually and take their feedback. There are reports that Mr Siddaramaiah is the choice of a majority of the MLAs.

The team has submitted its report and had several rounds of meetings with the party’s top leaders.

Earlier today, Mr Kharge and senior leaders Rahul Gandhi and KC Venugopal had a meeting to discuss the situation.

Mr Shivakumar has made It clear that his claim to the top post is based on his work in building up the party after its coalition government with HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular had collapsed following a mass party switch by MLAs. But he also said he would not resort to “blackmail”.

“Sonia Gandhi told me, ‘I have confidence in you that you will deliver Karnataka’. I am sitting here, doing my regular responsibility.  You should have the basic courtesy, a bit of gratitude. They should have the courtesy to acknowledge who is behind the win,” he had told NDTV in an exclusive interview yesterday.

During meetings with reporters, he also claimed that he has the “numbers” – the number of MLAs who would support him at the Legislature Party meeting.

“Yesterday 135 MLAs have given their opinion and passed a one-line resolution, few have expressed their personal opinion. My power is the 135 MLAs. Under my leadership, the Congress has won 135 seats,” he had said.

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