Amid speculations that a power-sharing deal has been brokered between Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM DK Shivakumar, a senior state minister has said that Siddaramaiah would serve for the full term of five years.
Earlier, there were speculations about a power-sharing deal or rotational CM arrangement being brokered between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, both of whom had staked claim to the post of the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Following the senior minister MB Patil's comment, a seemingly upset Shivakumar said that the high command will take care of it.
After the Congress party ousted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka in assembly elections this year, Siddaramaiah was sworn-in as CM and Shivakumar as Deputy CM after days of talks over the state's new leadership. Eight other MLAs were also sworn-in as ministers. Portfolios are yet to be allocated among the ministers.
What did MB Patil say?
Patil said that if there would have been a rotational chief minister arrangement, where Shivakumar would take over as the chief minister mid-way in the five-year term of the government, the leadership would have made it public.
He said, "Siddaramaiah will be Chief Minister for five years. If there was power sharing or anything, our leadership would have told you (media). There is no such thing. As our AICC General Secretary has said things are continuing."
To a question on discussions that the Chief Minister will change after Lok Sabha polls and Shivakumar would become CM, Patil said, "If such things were there, our AICC General Secretary would have told you, when he did the press conference. He said there is no such thing."
Patil clarified that his statement before the media on Monday was the reiteration what AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal had told the press, soon after announcing the names of Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively on May 18.
"When asked about power sharing, he (Venugopal) had said there is no power sharing. Power sharing is with the people... I have said what Venugopal had said," said Patil.
How did DK Shivakumar respond?
However, not wanting to respond to Patil's statement, Shivakumar said, "Let any one say anything they want. The AICC General Secretary is there, the Chief Minister is there and the AICC President is there..."
While his brother and Lok Sabha member D K Suresh openly expressed displeasure against Patil's statement.
"Siddaramaiah is the Chief Minister, if you want more information and reply to M B Patil's statement, you can meet our AICC General Secretary Surjewala (Randeep Singh Surjewala) and gather information. I can also sharply say things, but let me not. I can respond to M B Patil's statement, tell M B Patil -- let that not happen," he told reporters.
Taking a dig at Congress, the Karnataka unit of BJP sharing the video of Patil's statement, in a tweet, said: "D K Shivakumar is not going to become CM, @siddaramaiah is not going to let him become. @MBPatil has just sent a direct warning to @DKShivakumar with this statement!"
The BJP also said looking at all the developments so far, there are no signs or guarantee that this government will be stable, despite getting the majority.
The government which came to existence on Saturday, with eight cabinet Ministers along with CM and Deputy CM taking oath. Allocation of portfolios to the Ministers is yet to happen.
Also, plans are on to expand the cabinet in the days to come, and there are many aspirants for the ministerial berths.
(With PTI inputs)