Cong to seek 2 Dy CM posts

“There is a proposal to create two deputy chief ministers post. But no decision has been taken so far. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will take a call in this regard,” KPCC president G Parameshwara told reporters after emerging from a meeting of senior party leaders. DH file photo

The H D Kumaraswamy-headed JD(S)-Congress coalition government is likely to have two deputy chief ministers as the Grand Old Party looks to balance caste equations.

Congress leaders on Sunday mooted a proposal to create two deputy chief ministers in order to accommodate a Dalit and a Lingayat. While Dalits are considered the Congress’s vote bank, the party wants to placate the Lingayat community which is said to be upset with the move to accord separate minority religion status to the Veerashaiva/Lingayat (Basava tatva) faith.

However, it is not clear whether the JD(S) will agree to the Congress’s proposal in this regard.

“There is a proposal to create two deputy chief ministers post. But no decision has been taken so far. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will take a call in this regard,” KPCC president G Parameshwara told reporters after emerging from a meeting of senior party leaders. The meeting was attended by among others party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjun Kharge, Siddaramaiah and K C Venugopal.

Sources in the state Congress said the name of Parameshwara, who is a Dalit, is almost cleared for deputy chief minister. Veteran party leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa and M B Patil are in the race from the Lingayat community. Interestingly, Shamanur had openly opposed the move to give the separate minority religion status, while Patil had spearheaded the movement in favour of it.

The Congress will be in a fix on picking its candidate for the deputy chief minister’s post from the Lingayat community. The Veerashaiva sect will be unhappy if Patil is the choice, while the Lingayat (Basava tatva) sect will raise objection if Shamanur is made the deputy chief minister. It is said that the party performed badly in North Karnataka in the elections mainly on account of the Lingayat backlash.

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Cong to seek 2 Dy CM posts

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