The six-day-long Karnataka political stalemate within the congress party on the matter regarding the next Chief Minister of Karnataka, after numerous rounds of meetings with senior leaders of the party and the two reserved candidates at the capital city, has finally come to an end last Thursday with the party announcing that Siddaramaiah would be the next CM. Who had previously served as the Chief Minister of Karnataka for five years, from 2013 to 2018, and was also the opposition leader during the previous BJP government.
Congress has won the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2023 by the biggest vote share and seats after a whopping 34 years. Congress has trampled the ruling party with a landslide victory of 135 seats, making BJP lose its only fortress in South India so far.
The victory marked the long-standing race between Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar for the CM position, has concluded with the former being appointed as the CM and D.K Shiv Kumar as the only deputy Chief Minister. D. K. Shiv Kumar said he ultimately agreed to the formula after Rahul Gandhi called and asked him to work with Siddaramaiah.
Siddaramaiah reached Delhi on Monday and DK Shivakumar on Tuesday to lobby for their CM candidature. Both met Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the Congress party, separately on Tuesday and Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday. D. K Shiv Kumar wanted to have Sonia Gandhi’s opinion on the matter in addition to the senior leaders, as it was Sonia who appointed Shiv Kumar as the president of the State party unit. But because she is in Shimla on vacation, Shivkumar got to have a virtual meeting with her, in which Sonia Gandhi asked him to speak to Rahul and Kharge.
The final decision was made at an overnight meeting on Wednesday. Shivakumar will continue to lead the party’s State unit along with the Deputy Chief Minister position. As this election is most likely to be the last one for 75-year-old Siddaramaiah to participate based on his pre-election announcement, the senior leaders of the party convinced D.K Shivkumar by throwing light on the fact that he still has a chance to become the CM in the future election unlike the former. Shivakumar, who was earlier insistent on a CM post, later settled for Deputy CM, but only on the condition that he be the sole one.
After the official announcement from the congress party on Thursday, Shivkumar responded to the media that, as per Rahul Gandhi’s suggestion, he has decided to settle for the deputy CM position and to work together with Siddaramaiah, he assured that “Everything is well; Everything will be well, Everything is going to be well. We made a one-line decision that whatever the high command decides, we will abide by it.”
So far, the strategies of congress leaders, both pre and post elections, have appealed to the larger Kannadiga sentiments. This governance will indicate whether the trajectory for Congress is directed towards reclaiming its authority at the national level, which had not to been the case for the past two consecutive elections.