Had to bow my head to words of Gandhis, Kharge: Shivakumar keeps Karnataka CM aspiration alive

DKS said he gave up the CM race at the behest of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and party president Mallikarjun Kharge
Last Updated : 03 June 2023, 16:09 IST

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Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Saturday asked voters in his constituency, Kanakapura, to "be patient" on his chief ministerial prospects — his first public comment on the matter showing he is still smarting over having lost out in the race.

Shivakumar wrangled with Siddaramaiah for the hot seat for almost a week after the Congress stormed back to power, before backing down and settling down for the deputy CM post.

On a visit to his constituency to thank voters, the 61-year-old, who landed the plum portfolios of Bengaluru City Development and Water Resources, said he gave up the CM race at the behest of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and party president Mallikarjun Kharge.

"You gave so many votes to make me chief minister. What to do?" Shivakumar said at Harohalli. "Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge took a decision and spoke good words to me. Shouldn't I bow down to the words of seniors? I have to be patient. But the wish of God and the wish of all you people will never fall flat. Let's be patient. That's all I can say now."

Shivakumar addressed voters at Harohalli, Kalahalli and Shivanahalli. He won from Kanakapura by a margin of 1.22 lakh votes, the highest in the state.

The chief ministerial aspiration again came up at Kalahalli, where he said: "From the point of view of bagging the chief minister's post, people in the entire Old Mysuru region expressed their pride. But nobody needs to be disappointed."

In the run-up to the May 10 Assembly election, Shivakumar projected himself as the next Vokkaliga CM of the Congress after SM Krishna (1999-2004). He made personal appeals with voters to support his CM ambition.

Shivakumar vowed to make Kanakapura a "model" constituency, and is keen to establish a government medical college. "It was sanctioned earlier and the HD Kumaraswamy (coalition government) had given funds. But B S Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai, despite assuring restoration, took it to Chikballapur," he said, adding that he has asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to bring the file back to the Cabinet.

Shivakumar also wants to set up a government hospital in the Ramanagara district that will be headquartered in Kanakapura. "Land has been earmarked. Everyone can't go to Bengaluru for good healthcare," he said.

Published 03 June 2023, 11:52 IST

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