Last Updated: May 17, 2023, 13:44 IST
Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar (left) are fighting for the top post in Karnataka. (PTI)
According to the MLA, Siddaramaiah told him that all surveys have given him the highest approval ratings and DK Shivakumar has got just 10% of it. Plus, the AHINDA have voted for the Congress hoping that Siddaramaiah will be the CM
Even as the suspense over Karnataka Chief Minister continues, Congress’s top contender Siddaramaiah spoke to a senior Vokkaliga MLA on Tuesday night that it has to be “either him or a third person, but not his competitor DK Shivakumar”.
According to the MLA, Siddaramaiah told him that all surveys have given him the highest approval ratings and DKS has got just 10% of it. Plus, the AHINDA — Minorities, Backward Classes and Dalits — have voted for the Congress in a big way hoping that Siddaramaiah will be the Chief Minister and if not, they will move away from the Congress in the coming Lok Sabha elections, said the MLA.
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The MLA said that Siddaramaiah has claimed the support of a majority of MLAs and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is of the view that whoever gets the maximum votes should be made the CM.
What shook the senior MLA is Siddaramaiah’s threat to retire from politics and not get involved in any party matters in the future.
“Siddaramaiah explained that the Congress’ five guarantees can be implemented only if he is made the CM. He claimed that he has told the high command about various cases DKS is facing and how they can be used against him if he is made the CM, which can destabilise the government,” said the MLA.
“He is clear about one thing. Either him or a third person, no DKS under any circumstances. He has made it clear that the Congress should not expect him to work for the party in the future and he will retire. That shook me. We can’t imagine the Congress without Siddaramaiah. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) BJP will easily win the next elections if he is not around. The JDS can also be revived,” he told News18.
The OBCs, Muslims and STs are flexing their muscle to make sure that Siddaramaiah gets the top post. The Dalits are maintaining silence. Even among the Vokkaliga MLAs not all are with DKS because of personal reasons.
The Lingayats, who gave 34 seats to the Congress, the highest since 1989, are uncomfortable with the ongoing power struggle between the two and demand for at least a Deputy CM and seven-eight important Cabinet berths for them. The Congress has swept the Lingayat districts one by one. They are uncomfortable with DKS flexing his muscle.
The Lingayats want to stay away from both DKS and Siddaramaiah in this power struggle. They want at least a deputy CM post for their top leader MB Patil and seven-eight important cabinet berths. Lingayats are 16% of the population and control 25% votes in Karnataka. Their Mutts are the strongest.
They say DKS being acceptable to Lingayats is his version and not that of the community.
The Lingayat bloc is the biggest and the most powerful and would not back a Vokkaliga CM. They are fine with an OBC because they are in large numbers in Lingayat areas.
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Even though Lingayats are no fans of AHINDA, they need each other for political survival and it can tip the balance in favour of Siddaramaiah.
Siddaramaiah has also warned that if there is no quick solution to this impasse, all the gains the Congress made over the past few years would be lost in just one week, allowing the return of the BJP.
D P SatishD P Satish has been a journalist for the past 21 years. Born at the picturesque Jog Falls in Shimoga district of Karnataka, Satish did his graduation …Read More