Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, DK Shivakumar, has turned down the offer made by former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader, HD Kumaraswamy, to provide support from 19 of his party’s MLAs should Shivakumar aspire to become the Chief Minister. Shivakumar made it clear that he is in “no hurry” to assume the role.
In response to Kumaraswamy’s offer, Shivakumar stated, “I’m not in a hurry (to become CM). I have not demanded this from anyone, not even from the party leadership.” He emphasized the collective leadership approach taken during the state elections, stating, “We contested (the state) elections under collective leadership. We have to give good governance.”
Shivakumar reiterated his loyalty to the current Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, and stressed that he follows the directives of the party’s top leadership. He said, “We are following whatever the high command has said; Siddaramaiah is our leader; even CM Siddaramaiah has said the same, this is our commitment.”
Shivakumar’s statement comes amid reports of factionalism within the ruling Congress and a power struggle for the CM’s post between Siddaramaiah and his deputy, DK Shivakumar. Kumaraswamy took a dig at Shivakumar, offering the support of “19 JD(S) MLAs” should he seek to become the Chief Minister.
The JD(S) leader’s offer followed reports of Congress leaders in the state claiming that several JD(S) MLAs were open to switching their allegiance to the Congress party.
Shivakumar refuted claims of discontent within the Karnataka Congress, highlighting that it is the BJP dealing with internal issues in selecting their leaders.
Karnataka minister and Congress MLA, Priyank Kharge, dismissed allegations of factionalism within the ruling party, asserting that all roles and responsibilities within the party had been clearly defined. Kharge stated, “There is absolutely no faction in Congress. All roles and responsibilities in our party are clearly defined. Siddaramaiah is the CM, and DK Shivakumar is the deputy CM. Whatever decision has to be taken (on the change of CM) will be made by the high command at the right time.”
Earlier, BJP leader KS Eshwarappa had called for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s resignation, claiming that his cabinet colleagues held differing views regarding his tenure as the Chief Minister.