This Article is From May 18, 2023

Siddaramaiah Chief Minister, DK Shivakumar Deputy: Congress' 3 AM Breakthrough

The two leaders, who posted a photo together after the decision was announced and promised to work together, will be sworn in on Saturday.

Siddaramaiah (right) and DK Shivakumar (left) were the two contenders for Karnataka Chief Minister.

New Delhi: Siddaramaiah will be the next Chief Minister of Karnataka and DK Shivakumar his deputy, the Congress announced on Thursday, ending five days of suspense after the party's emphatic election win. They will take oath on Saturday.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:

  1. The decision was announced after days of internal wrangling, with both contenders pushing for the top job. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala dodged a question whether the five-year term will be split among them, saying, "Power-sharing means sharing power with the people of Karnataka, nothing else."

  2. Both leaders expressed their commitment to work together. "Karnataka's secure future and our people's welfare is our top priority, and we are united in guaranteeing that," tweeted Mr Shivakumar. Siddaramaiah said, "Our hands will always be united to protect the interests of Kannadigas. The Congress party will work as a family."

  3. Sources close to Mr Shivakumar said that he had accepted the Number 2 position, and keeping his job as the party's state unit chief, following an intervention by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The sources said the veteran leader had agreed to make the "sacrifice in the interest of the party".

  4. DK Suresh, Congress MP and Mr Shivakumar's brother, told NDTV that they are "not happy". "My brother wanted to be Chief Minister. We are not happy with this decision," he said.

  5. Siddaramaiah and Mr Shivakumar met Congress general secretary KC Venugopal this morning. This was the first meeting between the two leaders since the tussle for the top post began. The two leaders then went to meet Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge.

  6. Earlier, Mr Kharge and Rahul Gandhi had made two offers to Mr Shivakumar at a meeting in Delhi on Wednesday. But the meet remained inconclusive, with the top post contender turning down both options, sources said. Another meeting was held later in the evening.

  7. Apart from the Deputy Chief Minister's post that he took, sources said Mr Shivakumar had also been offered a second option under which Siddaramaiah was to get the top post for two years, and would have been followed by Mr Shivakumar for three years. But sources said neither Mr Shivakumar nor Siddaramaiah was ready to go second.

  8. There is no clarity on whether there has been a final decision on the rotational Chief Ministership yet. The power-sharing arrangement, it is learnt, now hinges on the Congress's performance in Karnataka in the general election next year.

  9. A lot was riding on the decision because of next year's general election. While Mr Shivakumar has a following among the state's politically crucial Vokkaligas, Siddaramaiah has the support of the AHINDA platform -- an old social combination of minorities, Other Backward Classes, and Dalits, which had voted en masse for the Congress.

  10. Despite vying for the job, Mr Shivakumar had ruled out a rebellion early on. "If the party wants, they can give me the responsibility... Ours is a united house. I don't want to divide anyone here. Whether they like me or not, I am a responsible man. I will not backstab, and I will not blackmail," he had said.

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