Siddaramaiah May Be Close to Becoming Chief Minister of Karnataka

According to an AICC source, Siddaramaiah has the support of over 80 Congress MLAs.

Siddaramaiah May Be Close to Becoming Chief Minister of Karnataka
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Karnataka Chief Minister race could be nearing an end, with former chief minister Siddaramaiah attaining the support of a majority of the newly elected MLAs of the state. While the final decision is still pending, over 80 MLAs have supported Siddaramaiah, The Quint had learnt from an All India Congress Committee source.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shivakumar got the support of around 45 MLAs, the source said.


Speaking off the record earlier on Monday, both Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar camp members, however, claimed the support of a larger number of MLAs for their leaders. A source in the Siddaramaiah camp in Karnataka claimed that a total of 109 MLAs have supported their leader. Shivakumar’s side has been claiming the support of 75 MLAs.

In the end, Siddaramaiah seems to have gathered the support of a majority of the newly elected MLAs. According to an AICC source, the swearing in is expected to be held between 18 and 20 May.

Siddaramaiah’s advantage has been that he is recognised as a mass leader, accepted by most sections of Karnataka’s population. Besides, he has administrative experience as he was the chief minister of Karnataka between 2013 and 2018. In DK Shivakumar’s defence, party leaders said that he has been one of the strongest Congress leaders of Karnataka ever since he took over the reins of KPCC in 2020 and has helped turn around the party's fortunes.

Shivakumar is credited with having the support of many first time MLAs who got elected on 13 May, when the Congress swept Karnataka polls winning 135 seats.

A senior leader told The Quint, “Siddaramaiah has the support of most of the MLAs. Besides, Karnataka is in the worst financial position currently as the previous government had plunged the state into debts. An experienced hand is required to set the house in order.” Earlier in the day on 15 May, there were indications that the balance may tip in Siddaramaiah’s favour, as the 75-year-old flew to Delhi to meet AICC leaders. DK Shivakumar had, however, stayed back in Bengaluru complaining of ill health.

Siddaramaiah’s biggest strength this election, when the results came out, was that the Ahinda or Dalit, Bahujan, and Minority votes swung in favour of the Congress. A Kuruba (OBC) leader, who is known to take up issues of social justice, Siddaramaiah is credited for the wave by MLAs who support him. However, DK Shivakumar camp has been claiming that the swing of Left-Dalits and ‘Touchable’ Dalits were engineered by the KPCC president.

AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge is expected to take a formal call on who'll be given the mantle soon, a Congress source said.

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