Congress faces tough decision on Karnataka CM choice; focus shifts to Delhi



The Congress is yet to announce its pick for Karnataka Chief Minister after an emphatic victory in the recently-held assembly polls. The party’s national leadership and a team of observers will meet in Delhi today to deliberate on the issue. State party chief DK Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah have both expressed their ambition for the top post.

In the May 10 elections to the 224-member Assembly, the Congress scored a massive victory with 135 seats, while the ruling BJP and the former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19, respectively.

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A team of observers appointed by Congress met the newly-elected Karnataka MLAs on Sunday to get their vote on who should get the top spot. The team will head to Delhi and hold discussions with the national leadership, which includes Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Rahul Gandhi.

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With the lobbying for the Chief Minister set to shift to Delhi, both Mr Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah are also expected in the national capital later to meet the party’s leadership. According to sources, both the leaders though have been asked to wait and only come to Delhi if called by the party.

“Still haven’t decided whether to go or not,” Mr Shivakumar told reporters when asked if he would visit Delhi today.

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The decision will finally be taken by Mr Kharge, the party announced after the meeting of its Karnataka MLAs yesterday evening. Congress General Secretaries Sushil Kumar Shinde, Deepak Babaria, and Jitendra Singh Alwar were the observers at the meeting.

The supporters of both DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah shouted slogans outside the Bengaluru hotel where the meeting took place.