Karnataka: Siddaramaiah or DK Shivakumar, who will be Congress' CM face? Here's what we know so far

According to a senior party functionary, Rahul Gandhi has personally told the two top functionaries to share the CM’s tenure equally

Shankar RajUpdated: Sunday, July 03, 2022, 05:53 PM IST
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Karnataka: Siddaramaiah or DK Shivakumar, who will be Congress' CM face? Here's what we know so far | Photo: Twitter

Bengaluru: With less than a year for Assembly elections in Karnataka, there is consternation in the two camps – supporters of opposition leader Siddaramaiah on the one hand and KPCC president DK Shivakumar on the other – over lack of clarity regarding projecting a CM face.

Not wanting to precipitate matters, the Congress high command has advocated collective leadership, but this has not gone down well with both camps in Karnataka Congress. Supporters of both the camps are upset that their respective leaders have not been named CM candidate for the 2023 assembly polls.

As a compromise formula, the high command is toying with the idea of sharing the CM’s tenure equally – the first 2.5 years would go to Siddaramaiah and the remaining to DKS.

According to a senior party functionary, Rahul Gandhi has personally told the two top functionaries to share the CM’s tenure equally, with Siddaramaiah taking over the mantle first if the party returns to power.

According to sources, an internal survey done by the Congress suggested that the Siddaramaiah has an 89% likability quotient among the public as opposed to 2.5% for Shivakumar and 7% for Rajya Sabha opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

The Congress never had a history of announcing the CM candidate and always favoured a collective leadership till elections are over.

There is always the fear and concern of one CM aspirant undercutting the other during the elections. Collective leadership is also seen as a good balancing act between two heavyweights.

KPCC working presidents Saleem Ahmed and R Ramalinga Reddy were quoted in the media as saying that collective leadership is the best way forward, and the party will win the most seats under the formula rather than having a CM face.

“When we look at the current situation and are mindful of all communities and their leaders, the best way forward would be collective leadership,” both legislators were quoted.

“Be it Dalits, Vokkaligas or Kurubas, several senior leaders within the party are capable of becoming the CM. Let us first win and then the high command will take a decision and anoint a CM,” they added.

A section of the Congress leadership strongly believes that Siddaramaiah will be the face of the party. “We believe Rahul is convinced that Siddaramaiah is the best bet,” said a party MLA.

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