Day after senior Congress leader M B Patil claimed that the chief ministership wouldn’t be split, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s deputy DK Shivakumar gave a crisp and straight response: “let people say whatever they want”.
“There is an AICC general secretary and an AICC president, both of whom will take a call,” the deputy CM was quoted as saying by Times of India. The report stated that Shivakumar’s MP brother DK Suresh said he could give “a sharp response” to Patil, but “I choose not to do so in the interest of the party”.
“Siddaramaiah is the chief minister now. For any such issue (about whether the current chief minister will get a full term), you can contact Randeep Singh Surjewala (AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka),” Suresh was quoted as saying by TOI.
MB Patil, known to be a loyalist of Siddaramaiah, had said, “Siddaramaiah will be the CM for five years. If there was a power sharing agreement, senior leaders would have informed us.”
Another Siddaramaiah loyalist, Dinesh Gundu Rao, also made similar comments, putting Siddaramaiah’s tenuous ties with Shivakumar to test. Rao claimed that the AICC leadership was clear about Shivakumar remaining the deputy CM and state Congress president till the Lok Sabha elections.
“Apart from that, there has been no other discussion. Was there a discussion about Siddaramaiah’s replacement in 2013?” Rao was quoted.
The TOI report further stated that Patil was asked if his statement was a violation of Surjewala’s diktat to Congress members not to speak or speculate about the high command’s decision.
According to the report, Patil replied that he merely iterated what AICC general secretary KC Venugopal said on May 18, when the names of the new chief minister and deputy CM were declared.
Latching onto the controversy, BJP’s Karnataka unit said, “Shivakumar is not going to become CM, and @siddaramaiah is not going to let him become (one).”
ಡಿ.ಕೆ. ಶಿವಕುಮಾರ್ ಅವರು ಸಿಎಂ ಆಗುವುದು ಇಲ್ಲ, ಅವರನ್ನು ಆಗಲು @siddaramaiahನವರು ಬಿಡುವುದು ಇಲ್ಲ. @MBPatilರು ಈ ಹೇಳಿಕೆಯ ಮೂಲಕ @DKShivakumar ಅವರಿಗೆ ನೇರವಾದ ಎಚ್ಚರಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ರವಾನಿಸಿದ್ದಾರಷ್ಟೇ!ಅದೇನೆ ಇದ್ದರೂ ಬಹುಮತ ದೊರಕಿದ ನಂತರದ ಈವರೆಗಿನ ಎಲ್ಲ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆಗಳನ್ನು ಗಮನಿಸಿದಾಗ, ಈ ಸರಕಾರ ಸುಸ್ತಿರವಾಗಿರಲಿದೆ ಎಂಬ ಯಾವ… pic.twitter.com/X82vK3KGjz
— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) May 23, 2023
Many in the Congress had earlier claimed that the CM’s post will be shared by Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar for 30 months each, besides the latter continuing as KPCC president till next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
The Sunday Guardian quoted political scientist and psephologist Sandeep Shastri as saying: “This was expected (Shivakumar staking claim for the chief ministership) as DKS was jockeying for the best bargain. And he got it.”
“What I have called 1+1+1, deputy CM, choice of portfolios, and continuation as KPCC president. This will be an interesting partnership which will need to be consciously nurtured and kept on track,” he was further quoted.
With inputs from News18