Siddaramaiah to be Karnataka CM, Shivakumar his deputy; swearing-in on May 20: Congress sources

Bengaluru/New Delhi: Sources close to Shivakumar says he decided to make the “sacrifice” and agreed to be deputy chief minister in the interest of the party

BY | Thursday, 18 May, 2023
Supporters of Siddaramaiah pour milk on his poster as part of the celebration

Siddaramaiah will be the next chief minister of Karnataka and DK Shivakumar his deputy, Congress sources said on Thursday after the party arrived at a consensus on government formation in the state after four days of hectic parleys.

Sources said the swearing-in ceremony will be held in Bengaluru on May 20 around noon.

They said Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge along with other stakeholders held discussions past midnight to hammer out a solution between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar — the two chief ministerial aspirants.

“It has been decided by consensus that Siddaramaiah will be the next chief minister and Shivakumar will be the deputy chief minister,” a Congress source said.

Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar together met Kharge after the consensus on government formation was reached.

Congress president Kharge also tweeted a picture of him flanked by Siddaramiah and Shivakumar. Kharge is seen raising the hands of both leaders to signal a consensus.

“Team Congress is committed to usher progress, welfare and social justice for the people of Karnataka. We will implement the 5 guarantees promised to 6.5 Cr Kannadigas,” Kharge said on Twitter.

The Congress also tweeted the picture, and said, “stronger together”.

Sharing the picture on Twitter,AICC general secretary in-charge of state Randeep Surjewala said, “The winning team.”

A Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting has been called by Shivakumar, the party’s state unit chief, in Bengaluru on Thursday evening. The decision will be announced there.

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief has written to all legislators, asking them to attend the meeting of the newly-elected MLAs, MLCs and MPs at the Indira Gandhi Bhavan on Queen’s Road at 7 pm.

Sources close to Shivakumar said he decided to make the “sacrifice” and agreed to be deputy chief minister in the interest of the party.

The party leadership has also decided to have around 20-25 new ministers, sources said.

Earlier, Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar also held a breakfast meeting with Congress general secretary in-charge organisation K C Venugopal and Surjewala, together.

Hectic parleys were held on Wednesday to break the deadlock in deciding on the Congress’ chief ministerial pick in Karnataka with both the hopefuls presenting their cases before the top brass even as the party asserted that an outcome is likely within a day or two.

Both Shivakumar and Siddaramiah had been camping in Delhi and held several rounds of deliberations with the party top brass.

Sources said Shivakumar finally agreed to be deputy CM after holding late night parleys with Venugopal and Surjewala.

Surjewala and Venugopal had met Kharge and held detailed discussions on Wednesday evening.

Siddaramaiah, 75, was Karnataka CM from 2012 to 2018. Shivakumar, 61, has been a minister in the state and is currently the Karnataka Congress chief.

In the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the Congress scored an emphatic victory by bagging 135 seats while the ruling BJP and the former prime minister HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19 seats, respectively.

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