Siddaramaiah will be the next Karnataka chief minister and DK Shivakumar his deputy, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal announced in a press conference, breaking the deadlock and ending days of speculation regarding the grand old party’s victory in the southern state’s Assembly election.
"Siddaramaiah will be the chief minister of Karnataka. DK Shivakumar will be the deputy CM. Shivakumar will continue as the PCC president till the end of parliamentary elections. CM, Dy CM and a group of ministers will be sworn-in on 20th May," said Venugopal in a press briefing in Bengaluru.
A Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting has been called by the party's state unit chief D K Shivakumar in Bengaluru today evening. The KPCC has written to all legislators to attend the meeting of newly-elected MLAs, MLCs and MPs at the Indira Gandhi Bhavan on Queen's Road at 7 PM.
After several rounds of deliberation and meetings with both the leaders, Congress reportedly decided on a rotational tenure, giving two–and–half years each to Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar.
"It has been decided by consensus that Siddaramaiah will be the next chief minister and Shivakumar will be the deputy chief minister," a Congress source told PTI.
Supporters of Siddaramaiah were seen bursting firecrackers and raising slogans as they started celebrating outside his residence in Bengaluru.
VIDEO | Supporters of Congress leader Siddaramaiah raise slogans outside his residence in Bengaluru. pic.twitter.com/gGHpUhTs4Z— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 18, 2023
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge is said to have finalised his decision on the Karnataka government formation shortly after midnight. Sources close to Shivakumar said he agreed to make the "sacrifice" and be deputy chief minister in the interest of the party.
"Decision will be up to the high command," he told reporters outside AICC general secretary KC Venugopal's residence in Delhi today.
VIDEO | Karnataka PCC chief DK Shivakumar arrives at AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal's residence in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/DTVchqptR5— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 18, 2023
On Wednesday, AICC-in-charge Randeep Surjewala announced that the grand old party will take a decision on the Karnataka chief minister in the next 48-72 hours.
In the May 10 elections to the 224-member Assembly, the Congress scored an emphatic victory by bagging 135 seats, while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the former prime minister H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19 seats respectively.
(With PTI inputs)