Congress legislature party meets today to pick CM candidate

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Posters outside the residences of Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar declaring them as the next Chief Minister.

BENGALURU: With the election done, the hotly debated topic is who will be the next chief minister. While KPCC president D K Shivakumar and Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah are strong contenders, the party is holding a legislature party meeting later on Sunday to pick the CM candidate.

On Sunday, there was hectic political activity at the residences of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar in Bengaluru. Speaking to reporters about the choice of CM candidate at his residence, Shivakumar said, “There is no need for anyone to be anxious. Where there is hard work, there is dividend. Where there is faith, there is God. I am visiting the Nonavinakere Anjaneya Swamy temple in Tumakuru which has stood by me in all difficult times”.

D K Shivakumar speaking to media persons before heading to a temple in Tumakuru, on Sunday.

Among the various options being debated are a rotational CM along with having 2-4 deputy CMs from the Kuruba, Vokkaliga, Lingayat and Dalit communities. If Siddaramaiah is elected the CLP leader, he may have Lingayat, Vokkaliga, Dalit and Muslim deputies and in the event Shivakumar is picked for CM, he may have a Kuruba, Lingayat, Dalit and Muslim deputy CMs. If the contest is too tight, then there may be only one deputy CM. If a third candidate is picked for the CM’s post, the party may consider having deputy CMs based on caste equations, according to political watchers.

Prior to the elections, Siddaramaiah had said the elected legislators will pick their leader. In 2013, the legislature party had picked the CM candidate and A K Anthony had been made central observer. This time, the party high command has instructed the state leaders not to publicly make statements about the CM candidate and it remains to be seen whether the AICC itself will pick the candidate for the top post or the legislature party.

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