K’taka: Infighting in Cong escalates; both Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah eye CM post

The infighting in Congress in Karnataka has come out in open with both party’s state unit president D.K. Shivakumar and senior leader Siddaramaiah staking their claim to the post of the Chief Minister, if the Congress is elected to power in the state.

On Tuesday, Shivakumar reiterated his earlier appeal that the Vokkaliga community should support his candidature for the post of the Chief Minister.

On the other hand, Siddaramaiah has stated that party MLAs and high command will take a call on who will become the Chief Minister, adding he is “very much” in the race for the coveted post.

“I have requested the Vokkaliga community to stand behind me as after former chief minister S.M. Krishna, I have been made the president of the party,” Shivakumar stated.

Earlier, he had urged the Vokkaliga community to support him as there is a chance of the community members getting the CM post — referring to himself.

When asked if he is interested (in the CM post), Shivakumar said he is not a sage. “I have worn khadi not kaavi (cloth worn by religious seers). If the Congress party attains majority, the post of CM will be available… the high command will decide on who will become the CM,” he said.

Shivakumar further claimed that the internal survey of the Congress suggested a clear majority for the party in Karnataka.

“The report says we will get more than 130 seats. We are ready if the elections are held immediately,” he said.

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah maintained that he is an aspirant for the post of Chief Minister.

“The MLAs and party high command will ultimately take a decision in this regard ,” he said.

When asked about Shivakumar’s appeal to the Vokkaliga community, he said “there is nothing wrong with the appeal, and eventually, the high command and MLAs are going to take the call”.

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