KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar speaks tough making the process of selecting new CLP leader difficult, with Siddharamaiah too sounding adamant
Bengaluru: The Congress High Command has found itself in a fix over electing the new leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP), as both former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D.K. Shivakumar are refusing to loosen their stand. It has been causing a headache for the leaders in New Delhi, who are caught in a bind over taking the call on CLP leader, despite winning the Assembly elections with a clear majority.
It has been turning into a vexed issue, as both Siddharamaiah and Shivakumar are not leaving their stance on adorning Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) first, though they have consented for a power-sharing formula during the five-year tenure of the Government.
Shivakumar, along with his brother and Bangalore Rural MP D.K. Suresh, demanded his right to become the Chief Minister, during his meeting with AICC General Secretary and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal at Shangri-La Hotel, after the Observers from Delhi collected opinions of MLAs on Sunday.
Shivakumar argued that “During the crisis period, I have built the party as a common worker and brought to power. We won 135 seats as Minorities, Vokkaligas, Scheduled Caste and Lingayats in North Karnataka extended their full support to see me as Chief Minister. I have toiled hard day and night and you (Surjewala and Venugopal) have seen that from close quarters. You should consider my request for power.”
Mincing no words, Shivakumar has also told the leaders that “If you are not willing to consider me for CM post, I will quit both as MLA and the Party President, but will remain loyal to the party as a common worker. I will stay aloof from politics and focus on my business. I won’t speak on any other issues.”
Shivakumar is learnt to have arrived at this decision, as he is upset over senior leaders lobbying in favour of Siddharamaiah. The senior leaders and MLAs like R.V. Deshpande, K.J. George, K.N. Rajanna, Basavaraj Rayareddy, B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan and M.B. Patil have explained the reasons in detail for making Siddharamaiah the Chief Minister.
Some of the MLAs expressed their opinion in favour of Siddharamaiah before AICC Observers, while some others remained neutral, leaving the matter for the party High Command to decide, it is said.