Prior to the party’s declaration regarding the top position, the president of the Karnataka Congress would meet with the high leadership in Delhi. In spite of the party’s choice, Congress Karnataka President DK Shivakumar, one of the front-runners for the position of Chief Minister of the southern State, made it clear on Tuesday that he would not engage in “backstabbing or blackmail.”
DK Shivakumar stated in an exclusive interview with ANI, “If the party wants they can give me the responsibility……. Ours is a united house, our number is 135. I don’t want to divide anyone here. Whether they like me or not, I am a responsible man. I will not backstab and I will not blackmail.” Recent elections for the 224-member Karnataka assembly saw the Congress win 135 of those seats. As negotiations for the next Karnataka CM continue within the Congress party, Shivakumar landed at the Bengaluru airport early today in preparation for his departure for Delhi. Prior to the party’s declaration regarding the top position, the Karnataka Congress president will meet with the high command of the party.
“The Party is my god…We have built this party, I am a part of it and I am not alone in this,” he said before his departure from Bengaluru. “We have built this party (Congress), we have built this house. I am a part of it…A mother will give everything to her child,” he stated. When questioned about his goals as the state party’s leader, Shivakumar responded,” I don’t want to comment on what has happened earlier. How it happened. That is a closed chapter. We formed the government, we lost the government, we lost a coalition government. Who is responsible for the victory and loss there is no use of talking about it now. Let us not sell this story… let us sell the future.”
The other front-runner for the position of chief minister, Congress leader Siddaramaiah, arrived in the capital on Monday. Shivakumar, who had his birthday yesterday, had remained in Bengaluru due to an ailment in his stomach. The AICC’s top officials had invited him and Siddaramaiah to Delhi for a meeting. 135 of the 224 seats in the Karnataka assembly were won by the Congress.
Yesterday, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge received a briefing on the opinions of the newly elected MLAs from the party’s central observers for Karnataka. Party insiders claim that before making a final decision, Kharge will consult Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “The name of the next Karnataka CM will be announced in the coming 24 hours,” they said. The Congress legislative party had met late evening on Sunday in Bengaluru and passed a one-line resolution empowering Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge to pick the head of the legislative party.
Shivakumar said on Monday that the party’s high command would decide whether to remove the chief minister because all the MLAs were present. Shivakumar explained to ANI, “The party high command will take a call. I don’t want to comment or speak anything more. Whatever I had to speak, I have spoken already. I do not want MLAs (support)…that is not important to me. Ours is a Congress block. 135 is the number and one more ally member. We all are one and will work together”. Meanwhile, Congress veteran Siddaramaiah met with the top leadership of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) at Delhi’s Lodhi Hotel late on Monday night.