NEW DELHI: The Congress is continuing its deliberations to choose the Karnataka Chief Minister with both Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar persisting with their claims and another round of meetings slated to take place on Wednesday morning to reach a conclusion.
Party sources said UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is likely to reach Delhi on Wednesday from Himachal Pradesh and is expected to meet some leaders who are part of the decision-making process in Karnataka.
The sources said DK Shivakumar, who is Karnataka Congress chief, is likely to agree to suggestions made by Sonia Gandhi to help the party solve the leadership issue in the state.
Dr G Parameshwara, former Karnataka Deputy CM, has also shown his keenness for the top job in the state, stating that if he is assigned the responsibility, he will fulfil it.
“If the Congress high command gives me the responsibility of the CM post, I will definitely fulfil it. They know everything about me and my work. I don’t want to lobby,” he said.
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge has held talks with all stakeholders in Karnataka. Party leader Rahul Gandhi met Kharge on Tuesday to discuss government formation in the southern state.
Congress general secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal said a good decision” will come.
“Decision will come, wait. Good decision will come. It will come as soon as possible,” Venugopal said as he left Kharge’s residence. The sources said that the central observers are likely to meet Kharge on Thursday morning at 11 am.
The results of assembly polls were declared on Saturday and the newly-elected Congress MLAs on Sunday authorised Kharge to take a decision.
With the action shifting to Delhi, both Siddaramaiah, a former Chief Minister of Karnataka, and Shivakumar reached Delhi.
Congress leadership is keen on an early decision on the choice of Chief Minister and also wants to ensure that there are no fissures either in running of the government or the party in Karnataka so that the party can focus on its preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress is already battling factionalism in Rajasthan and the differences in Chhattisgarh on the issue of leadership have not entirely ended. The party suffered in Madhya Pradesh due to the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Congress leadership is looking at a formula where Karnataka may have Deputy Chief Ministers along with the Chief Minister to meet the aspirations of various communities.
The central observers appointed by the party in Karnataka spoke to MLAs and gave their report to the party leadership. Sources said Kharge will take the final decision after consulting Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
“No final decision has been made on the Karnataka CM post yet. Congress president has met all the stakeholders. Now the final decision will be taken by him in consultation with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. The announcement can be delayed until tomorrow and the announcement can be made in Bengaluru itself,” a source said.
Kharge held meetings with both Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah on Tuesday.
Siddaramaiah came to Kharge’s residence along with his son Yatindra and MLAs Zameer Ahmad, Bhyrati Suresh, and senior leader KJ George.
Earlier in the day, Shivakumar, in an exclusive interview with ANI said he would not resort to “backstabbing or blackmail” regardless of the party’s decision.
“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,” he said.
“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 said.
Asked about his expectations as the state party president, Shivakumar said,” 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.”
Congress scored an emphatic win in Karnataka, getting 135 seats in the 224-member assembly and reducing BJP to 66 seats. (ANI)