‘I will be CM for five years’
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‘I will be CM for five years’

November 3, 2023
  • Kissa Kursi Ka as CM Siddharamaiah and Dy.CM Shivakumar camps compete to head the Government.
  • No end to statements on CM’s post despite AICC warning.

Bengaluru: Hours after AICC General Secretary and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala issued a stern warning to Ministers, MLAs and other Congress leaders, asking them not to make public statements regarding power-sharing in the Government with a warning that those who defied this directive would face disciplinary action, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah yesterday declared his intention to remain in office as CM for a full five-year term.

This clarification emerged amid mounting speculation within a segment of the ruling Congress party about a potential change in leadership after two-and-a-half years of this Government’s tenure. Nevertheless, Siddharamaiah’s statement highlights the underlying tensions within the Karnataka Congress, a party that had secured a comfortable electoral majority but is now grappling with competitive sycophancy between followers of CM Siddharamaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar.

Responding to conflicting statements by some Congress leaders, Siddharamaiah said, “I am the Chief Minister and I will continue in the role for the entire five years.” When pressed for clarification on the rumoured appointment of three additional Deputy Chief Ministers, he stated, “Who said that? All these decisions are made by the high command. The Congress is not a regional party; it’s a national party. No changes can be made without consulting the high command. Neither I, as Chief Minister, nor the MLAs can alter the Government. We have the high command and they will make the decisions.”

Shivakumar targets BJP

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Meanwhile, not directly responding to Siddharamaiah’s statement, Shivakumar this morning dismissed the speculations of discontent in the Congress party over CM change reports after 2.5 years. He instead chose to target the BJP, accusing it of being incapable of choosing its leaders.

Speaking to media persons, Shivakumar said, “Where is the discontent in our party? There is discontent in the BJP, and because of that, they are not able to choose Opposition Leader.”

“Have you seen any State or country where the Leader of the Opposition has not been elected even after five or six months have passed since the formation of the Government?” the Deputy CM asked.

While senior Ministers like K.N. Rajanna, Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa, Satish Jarkiholi, Zameer Ahmed and others want Siddharamaiah to serve as CM for full term, some MLAs contend that Shivakumar should become CM after two-and-a-half-years with a new Cabinet.

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