After long deliberations, Karnataka Congress Chief, DK Shivakumar, has reluctantly accepted to take up the Deputy Chief Minister’s role following former party president Sonia Gandhi’s intervention, sources claimed.
Party sources say the Congress top brass has chosen Siddaraiamah for the Chief Minister post, with Shivakumar as his deputy.
The deal was clinched after Sonia Gandhi spoke to Shivakumar, who had been firm on his demand for the Chief Minister post, late last evening to resolve the deadlock.
An official announcement will be made likely today.
The Congress had been struggling to get Shivakumar on board with the idea of a second term for Mr Siddaramaiah in the top post, who reportedly has the support of most MLAs.
Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar had met Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Party General Secretary KC Venugopal yesterday – presenting their cases as contenders for the Chief Minister post.
Speaking to the media outside Kharge’s residence, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said a decision could take 48 hours more and another 24 for announcing the cabinet.
Sonia Gandhi spoke to Shivakumar late last evening after which he accepted the number 2 spot, sources said.
The oath-taking ceremony is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on Saturday.
While Siddaramaiah is seen to be a leader with mass appeal and completed a full term in 2018, Shivakumar is known for his strong organisational capabilities, and is considered resourceful and Congress’ troubleshooter during tough times.
Shivakumar had been insisting on the top post, citing his work over the last four years -after Congress’s coalition government with HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular had collapsed following a mass party switch by MLAs. But he also said he would not resort to “blackmail”.
He said he had assured the Gandhis and Mallikarjun Kharge that he will deliver Karnataka.
“Sonia Gandhi told me, ‘I have confidence in you that you will deliver Karnataka’. I am sitting here, doing my regular responsibility. You should have the basic courtesy, a bit of gratitude. They should have the courtesy to acknowledge who is behind the win,” he had told NDTV in an exclusive interview earlier.
The Congress won a clear majority in last week’s assembly elections, finishing with 135 seats in the 224-member assembly.
With inputs from NDTV