In a significant development in Karnataka's political landscape, the Congress party has managed to convince D.K. Shivakumar to accept the post of the state's only Deputy Chief Minister. After days of intense negotiations and lobbying, party leaders closed the deal in the early hours of Thursday, settling the dispute between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar over the prime minister.
The deal assigns Siddaramaiah the role of Chief Minister, while Shivakumar will take oath as the only Deputy Chief Minister. Shivakumar will continue to serve as Chairman of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. Confirmation of the allocation of key portfolios to Shivakumar has also been made.
Shivakumar expressed commitment
Shivakumar expressed his commitment to Karnataka and emphasized the upcoming parliamentary elections as a crucial factor in his decision. He stated that he now has greater responsibility and is entrusted to serve the state and deliver results.
Shivakumar's camp claims party leaders have agreed to a two-and-a-half-year term formula, but it is unclear whether they will publicly announce this deal. They have scheduled the official swearing-in ceremony for both leaders for May 20.
The rivalry between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar for the Chief Minister post has persisted since the Congress party's victory in the recent elections. Despite a PLC meeting giving Kharge clearance to choose the next Chief Minister, both leaders stood firm in their insistence on being the sole candidate for Chief Minister.
Initially, Shivakumar expressed reluctance for him to become Deputy Chief Minister under Siddaramaiah. However, Kharge led the negotiations and found a middle ground, which resulted in the decision to have only one Deputy Chief Minister instead of three from different communities.
The past few days have witnessed intense discussions and debates, with both sides highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Siddaramaiah argued that appointing Shivakumar as Chief Minister could pose difficulties, given the party's anti-corruption platform and Shivakumar's ongoing legal cases.
Siddaramaiah also emphasized his popularity and influence among Muslims and backward caste voters, who he believes will play a crucial role in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
On the other hand, Shivakumar believed that the Congress party lost power during Siddaramaiah's previous term. Despite holding the position of CLP leader, Shivakumar faced challenges in the Lok Sabha polls.
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