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Siddaramaiah is Karnataka's Next CM; Shivakumar his Only Deputy: Congress

DK Shivakumar will continue as party's Karnataka state president till 2024 parliamentary elections are over.

Graphic by: Rafat Alam

New Delhi: Ending days of suspense, the Congress on Thursday announced Siddaramaiah as the next Chief Minister of Karnataka and state party president D K Shivakumar as his only deputy in the soon-to-formed cabinet.

The two leaders, who were in a tight race for the top post, would take oath along with other ministers on May 20 and leaders of all like-minded parties will be invited for the swearing-in ceremony.

Announcing the decision taken by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge after hectic parleys ever since the party emerged victorious on May 13, General Secretary (Organisation) K C Venugopal said all leaders, including the top leadership, worked very hard to make Karnataka victory a reality.

"We have decided on Siddaramiah as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. D K Shivakumar will be the only Deputy Chief Minister," he said.

Shivakumar will also continue as the party's Karnataka state president till parliamentary elections are over, he said.

Venugopal said the swearing-in ceremony would be held on May 20 at 12.30 PM.

At the same press conference, senior party leader and in-charge for Karnataka Randeep Surjewala said the Congress was committed to fulfil the five promises made during the elections and action would be taken on them in the first meeting of the cabinet.

Sources said around 20 ministers will also be sworn in along with the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, including some from the state legislative council.

Asked about the much-talked-about power-sharing formula between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, Venugopal said the only formula is to share the power with the people of Karnataka. 

"Ours is a democratic party, we believe in consensus and not in dictatorship," he said on the hectic discussions held over the last few days.

Siddaramaih and Shivakumar later left for Bengaluru to participate in the meeting of the legislature party slated at 7 p.m where the party will convey the decision.

Asked about the decision and why he relented after a spirited fight for the top post, Shivakumar later said, "In the larger interest of the party, I have agreed."

"We are committed to the people of Karnataka and we have to deliver. That is our responsibility," he also told TV channels.

Setting at rest any speculation on whether the government will last or the party will see a similar situation as in other states like Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh over the leadership issue, he said, "Everything is well and will be well."

Shivakumar said all the new MLAs have accepted whatever the high command has decided as they had authorised the party chief at the CLP meeting.

He said he is not upset and has a long way to go and will concentrate on strengthening the party for the Lok Sabha elections by delivering the promises made to people.

Crediting the people of the state and party leaders in Karnataka for the "spectacular" victory, he said this election was a clearly a fight between the poor and the rich and the poor and middle class have stood with the Congress.

He also gave credit to Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi for the victory in the polls and thanked them for campaigning and guiding the party rank and file.

Venugopal said the Congress victory was initiated from the time of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and thanked Rahul Gandhi for his spirited campaign and guidance.

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