Siddaramaiah or DK Sivakumar? Congress’s Karnataka suspense moves to Delhi
New Delhi: After registering a landslide victory in Karnataka, the Congress is now set for an acid test, with both state Chief Minister DK Sivakumar and senior leader Siddaramaiah eyeing the place. A Congress-appointed panel of observers met the newly-elected Karnataka MLAs on Sunday to take their votes on who would get the top spot. The team is now on its way to Delhi for discussions with the national leadership, which includes Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi.
Both Mr Sivakumar and Siddaramaiah are expected to meet the party leadership in the national capital today as the chief ministerial campaign is set to shift to Delhi. According to sources, both the leaders have been asked to wait and come to Delhi only if invited by the party.
D.K. When asked if he will come to Delhi today, Sivakumar said, “I have not decided yet whether to go or not.
The party announced that Mr Kharge will take a decision after the meeting of Karnataka MLAs last evening. Congress General Secretaries Sushil Kumar Shinde, Deepak Babaria and Jitendra Singh Alwar were the observers in the meeting.
Supporters of both TK Sivakumar and Siddaramaiah raised slogans outside the Bengaluru hotel where the meeting took place.
Karnataka’s new chief minister and cabinet will take oath on Thursday, according to reports.
Both Mr Sivakumar, an eight-time MLA, and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, have in the past played a game of political integrity without hiding their ambitions to become chief minister.
60-year-old D.K. While Sivakumar is seen as a “troubleshooter” for the Congress, Siddaramaiah has Karnataka appeal.
Congress entered the campaign phase with the challenge of preventing factionalism. After winning 135 seats in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the party formed a united front with Mr Kharge and two chief ministerial hopefuls along with media and party workers.
Congress’ margin of victory is a record in over 30 years in terms of two seats and votes. It came close to this score only in 1999 when the Congress won 132 seats and polled 40.84 per cent. In 1989, it won 178 seats with 43.76 percent of the vote.
In the 2018 state elections, the BJP won only 66 seats out of 104 seats. It did not win a single seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs). Karnataka has 51 reserved constituencies, of which 36 are for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates and 15 for ST candidates.