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'Make DK Shivakumar chief minister’: Congress MLA rocks Siddaramaiah's boat

The hurly-burly began with Channagiri Congress MLA Basavaraju Shivaganga asking for Shivakumar, the deputy CM, to get a promotion.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 15:51 IST

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Bengaluru: The ruling Congress plunged into bedlam on Wednesday after one lawmaker publicly called for Siddaramaiah to be replaced by DK Shivakumar as Karnataka chief minister, a topic that awaited unravelling after the Lok Sabha polls.

This was countered by a senior minister who made a case for a new Karnataka Congress president, a post currently held by Shivakumar.

The hurly-burly began with Channagiri Congress MLA Basavaraju Shivaganga asking for Shivakumar, the deputy CM, to get a promotion.

“Siddaramaiah was CM for five years. And, he’s been the CM for the last 1.5 years. All MLAs have cooperated. Let D K Shivakumar become the CM now,” Shivaganga said.

This statement added to the Congress’ woes as the party is already facing demands for the appointment of more deputy chief ministers.

“Congress won nine Lok Sabha seats, up from just one five years ago. This was because of Shivakumar’s organisation skills. If the party wants to benefit from that going forward, Shivakumar should become CM,” Shivaganga argued.

Shivaganga even pointed out that as per convention, Shivakumar should have become the CM after Congress won the Assembly polls last year. “Conventionally, the Karnataka Congress president becomes the CM,” he said.

Cooperation Minister K N Rajanna, who has been pushing for the appointment of additional deputy CMs from the Veerashaiva-Lingayat, SC/ST and minority communities, said the Congress high command should decide on making Shivakumar the CM.

However, Rajanna raised the ‘one man, one post’ policy to hint that Shivakumar, being deputy CM, should give up the KPCC president’s post. “I’d like to remind (the party) that Shivakumar was to continue as KPCC president till the Parliament elections,” he said.

Talk in Congress circles is that some leaders are trying to convince the party to make Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre, a Lingayat, the next Karnataka Congress president.

The likes of Rajanna and Public Works Minister Satish Jarkiholi are batting for more deputy CMs, which Shivakumar is not in favour of. In fact, the demand for more deputies, first raised last year, is seen as a plan to counterbalance Shivakumar.

Reacting to the demand for more deputies, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the Congress high command’s decision will be final on this.

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Published 26 June 2024, 15:51 IST

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