Amid speculations of a “power sharing or rotational CM” arrangement brokered by Congress high command between Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar in Karnataka, a senior minister’s statement has now set the cat among the pigeons.
Minister MB Patil told reporters at a press meet in Mysuru on Monday (May 22) evening that Siddaramaiah would remain the Chief Minister for the full five-year term creating a flutter in the ruling party circles.
He denied any talks about power sharing and speculations that deputy chief minister Shivakumar will take over as CM after two-and-half years or after 2024 Lok Sabha polls, minister M B Patil said Siddaramaiah will remain the CM for a full five-year term.
Shivakumar was seemingly upset by the statement but did not react except to say that the high command will take care of it. While his brother and Bangalore Rural MP D K Suresh said he too can sharply respond to what Patil has said, but will not do so.
With both chief ministerial aspirants Siddaramaiah and state Congress president Shivakumar digging in their heels, prolonged parleys involving the Congress central leadership had preceded their appointment as CM and deputy CM respectively last week.
There have been reports quoting party sources that the high command had put forward the proposal of rotational CMs to break the deadlock.
Also read: DK Shivakumar, the Congress troubleshooter who failed to cross the hurdle to CM’s chair
Responding to a question, will Siddaramaiah be CM for five years or is there a power sharing formula, Patil told reporters, “Siddaramaiah will be Chief Minister for five years. If there was power sharing or anything, our leadership would have told you (media). There is no such thing. As our AICC general secretary has said things are continuing.”
To a question on discussions that the CM will change after Lok Sabha polls and Shivakumar would become CM, he said: “If such things were there, our AICC general secretary would have told you, when he did the press conference. He said there is no such thing.”
Patil, clarified today (May 23) that his statement before the media on Monday was the reiteration what AICC general secretary K C Venugopal had told the press, soon after announcing the names of Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar as CM and deputy CM respectively on May 18.
“When asked about power sharing, he (Venugopal) had said there is no power sharing. Power sharing is with the people… I have said what Venugopal had said,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.
However, not wanting to respond to Patil’s statement, Shivakumar said: “Let any one say anything they want. The AICC general secretary is there, the chief minister is there and the AICC president is there…”
Also read: Karnataka: Committed to working unitedly for people, say Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar
While his brother and Lok Sabha member D K Suresh openly expressed displeasure against Patil’s statement. “Siddaramaiah is the Chief Minister, if you want more information and reply to M B Patil’s statement, you can meet our AICC general secretary Surjewala (Randeep Singh Surjewala) and gather information. I can also sharply say things, but let me not. I can respond to M B Patil’s statement, tell M B Patil – let that not happen,” he told reporters.
Taking a dig at Congress, the Karnataka unit of BJP sharing the video of Patil’s statement, in a tweet, said: “D K Shivakumar is not going to become CM, @siddaramaiah is not going to let him become. @MBPatil has just sent a direct warning to @DKShivakumar with this statement!”
The BJP also said looking at all the developments so far, there are no signs or guarantee that this government will be stable, despite getting the majority.
The government which came to existence on Saturday, with eight cabinet ministers along with CM and deputy CM took oath. Allocation of portfolios to the ministers is yet to happen.
Also, plans are on to expand the cabinet in the days to come, and there are many aspirants for the ministerial berths.
(With agency inputs)