Several rounds of meetings took place on Tuesday as Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah met party national president Mallikarjun Kharge in Delhi amid intense lobbying for the CM’s post. Both the leaders, who are top contenders for the position, met Kharge separately in the national capital.
Kharge reportedly discussed the government formation in the southern state with them after the party staged a stupendous victory by winning 135 seats out of a total of 224.
According to CNN-News18 sources, Shivakumar has pointed out that he has worked for the party while Siddaramaiah has not contributed to building the organisation. The state Congress chief has also indicated that he is not open to take up any other offer if he is not given the Chief Ministerial post.
On the other hand, Siddaramaiah has asked Kharge to go by the majority opinion as expressed by the elected MLAs.
Ahead of these crucial meetings, Kharge had a discussion with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi where reportedly the final name for the CM post has been already decided.
Hindustan Times has quoted media reports as claiming that Gandhi has supported the name of Siddaramaiah for the CM post. The Congress has also thought about the rotational CM post formula to avoid any infighting with the party, reports claimed.
Before meeting Kharge, Shivakumar told the media that the Congress party is his mother and there was no question of his resigning from the organisation. He responded when asked about several media reports claiming him resigning from the party over CM post battle.
Soon after reaching Delhi, Shivakumar went straight to his brother DK Suresh’s office and residence at Kaveri Apartments. He also had his lunch there.
He later told reporters that he has come to Delhi to meet senior party leaders and party chief Kharge.
“My mother is my party, We have built this party. No question,” he said when asked to comment on reports that he may resign from the party if not given the chief minister’s post.
“If any channel is reporting that I am resigning from the post, I will file a defamation case against them…Some of them are reporting that I will resign and all, all bull****. Nothing,” he said.
On whether he will also meet Rahul Gandhi, the Karnataka leader said, “I have to meet all leaders. First, I have to meet my Congress president.” “My high command is there, my party is there, our MLAs are there – 135,” Shivakumar said as he left the residence of his brother and Bengaluru Rural MP DK Suresh.
Suresh also said that since the party has won under his (Shivakumar’s) leadership as Pradesh Congress chief, he had the right to stake his claim on the top post.