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‘Govt Formed For Stability’: No Change of Guard in Karnataka For Now, Siddaramaiah to Remain CM, Say Sources – News18

‘Govt Formed For Stability’: No Change of Guard in Karnataka For Now, Siddaramaiah to Remain CM, Say Sources – News18

Speculation has been been rife that a change of guard is on the cards in the Congress-led Karnataka. However, internal sources in the Congress have told News18 that there would not be one until the present government completes 18 months of governance. It is learnt that as of now, the party high command has decided not to take a call until the by-polls in three assembly constituencies of Channapatna, Sandur, and Shiggaon have been completed.

“There will be no change of chief minister for at least 18 months. The government has been formed to give people stable governance and ensure that the guarantees are delivered, and development takes place. The rest is all media creation,” said a senior Congress minister under confidentiality.

When the Congress came to power in 2023, amid a power tussle for the Chief Minister’s post, several rounds of lobbying and rallying support of MLAs between the Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar camps took place in Delhi to showcase which leader had the maximum support from MLAs to be made the Chief Minister.

It is said that Siddaramaiah managed to cobble up support from more than 60 per cent of MLAs in his favour and so it was decided to give him the post. However, there was also an unwritten pact of handing over the baton to Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar after 20 months, who had been vying for the post since the Congress won the 2023 Karnataka Assembly Elections with a resounding victory on 135 seats. The BJP, which was in power, was reduced to 66 seats, and the JDS won 19 seats.

Siddaramaiah – The Mass Leader

Siddaramaiah is considered the most influential AHINDA leader and the man who had worked for the upliftment of the downtrodden, having his governance between 2013-18 to showcase. The camp supporting him claims that he stands tall as an effective administrator and mass leader compared to many other Congress leaders.

“Nobody can beat the administration of Siddaramaiah and the handling of state finances. His vast experience and more importantly, his connection with the aam aadmi, he is just like them, that makes him the most deserving and nobody can question that,” said a KPCC member from the Siddaramaiah camp.

DK – The Man Behind Congress’s Revival in Karnataka

Shivakumar, his supporters say, revived the Congress in the state after he took over as the state party president in 2019, leading to the re-energised, renewed Congress winning the election. His strategy and campaign led the Congress to its victory after having lost power in the coalition government the party formed with the JDS in 2018.

“He injected energy amongst the party workers and helped in the win. It was like DK (as he is fondly called by his supporters) personally stood from every constituency and won the election for the Congress. He has shown that he can lead the state as well,” said another Congress leader who didn’t want to be named.

Issue Not to be Discussed in Public, Say Siddaramaiah and DK

On the question being asked, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the issue should not be discussed in public.

“Whatever decision the high command takes, we will abide by it. Ours is a national party. There is a high command who decides,” he said. He was also reacting to a statement made by Kumara Chandrashekaranatha Swamiji of Vishwa Vokkaliga Mahasamastana Math, Vokkaliga seer, publicly making a statement that Siddaramaiah should step down and make way for his deputy Shivakumar to become the CM.

Speaking during the Kempegowda Jayanti event while Siddaramaiah was present on the dais, the statement was made. A prominent Veerashaiva-Lingayat seer, Balehonnur Rambhapuri seer Veera Someshwara Shivacharya Swamy, also made a similar pitch.

“I don’t want to comment on what Swamiji said,” Siddaramaiah added.

There have also been growing demands to create additional Deputy CM posts in order to give better representation to Congress leaders from Lingayat, SC, ST, and minority communities who helped the party win the election. For this, too, the ball has been put in the Congress high command’s court, and a warning has been issued by Deputy CM Shivakumar against issuing public statements about both issues.

But there is a move that is being made, said insiders, where the Siddaramaiah camp has been planning to celebrate the AHINDA leader’s 77th birthday in a grand way. Like the last time, this will also be a show of strength for the CM at a time when there is a power tussle for his chair. Just before the assembly polls, Siddaramotsav was celebrated in order to showcase the leader’s popularity as well as a show of strength to the high command.

“Even Rahul Gandhi, who had attended the event, was very impressed by the turnout and the support and love people showed Siddaramaiah,” said an official working closely with the CMO.

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