Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar on Wednesday said the party will not announce its chief ministerial candidate for the 2023 Assembly elections. He also dismissed media reports about a rift within the state party unit.
"There is no problem in Karnataka (Congress) & there'll be only one thing that will be a collective leadership. No CM face will be announced. I don't have any rift with anyone except political differences with BJP & JDS," DK Shivakumar told news agency ANI.
This came after DK Shivakumar and former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah met Rahul Gandhi in the national capital amid reports of clashes between the two. Reportedly, the two senior leaders have been at loggerheads on many issues, including who will be the party’s face for the 2023 Assembly elections. Hence, the Congress high command had summoned them to Delhi to defuse the growing crisis. Meanwhile, supporters of Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah have also locked horns on the matter.
A third group is pitching for a Dalit chief minister with Mallikarjun Kharge and G Parameswara as leading contenders. “The fight to be projected as chief ministerial candidate when elections are two years away is not just ridiculous but also hurts the party’s image. Some of us sought the high command’s intervention,” senior Congress functionary and MLC BK Hariprasad said.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi has intervened in the matter and has decided that no one will be given preference. He has reportedly instructed the two leaders to fight the Assembly polls under collective leadership.
"Rahul Gandhi gave us some advice, which we will follow sincerely. Certainly, there are minor differences of opinion. Congress has a strong internal democracy. Having a difference of opinion is part of a democratic set-up, but we will remain united,” TOI quoted Siddaramaiah as saying at a press conference.