NEW DELHI, May 17 (PTI): A decision on the Karnataka chief minister is likely by Wednesday or Thursday and a new cabinet will be in place in the next 48-72 hours, the Congress has said amid intense speculation over who would bag the top job between Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar.
AICC in-charge of state Randeep Surjewala also asserted that Karnataka will have a five-year-long stable government and urged people not to believe in speculation and “fake news” which it alleged was being peddled by the BJP.
Siddaramaiah is considered the front-runner among the two while Shivakumar is seen taking a strong position, claiming that the assembly polls were won under him as state party chief and that he has worked hard for ensuring this victory.
Addressing the media outside Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s 10 Rajaji Marg residence where hectic parleys are on to decide on the party’s chief ministerial pick Surjewala said the party chief has been authorised to appoint the leader of the legislature party and that is why deliberations are underway.
“Do not resort to any speculation, whenever a decision is taken by the Congress president, we will be happy to inform you. I am only here to quash multiple rumours and hearsay…that are being played on multiple news channels. Please don’t believe in it,” Surjewala told reporters.
Whenever Congress takes a decision either Wednesday or Thursday, the party will be the first one to inform the media, he said.
“Stop listening to rumours being planted by the BJP which is frustrated by the decisive defeat in Karnataka. The Congress is committed to the welfare of each Kannadiga, the Congress is committed to fulfilling its five guarantees, the Congress is committed to implementing its agenda. The Congress is committed to giving a clean, transparent and responsible government,” he said.
“It (the decision to name the CM) is a matter of today and tomorrow and we will have a leader of the legislature party. Within the next 48 to 72 hours, we will have a new cabinet in Karnataka and in the first cabinet meeting, we will implement the five Congress guarantees and begin the work of building grand Karnataka,” Surjewala said.
He asserted that Karnataka will have a five-year-long stable government that is committed to the state’s peace, progress and harmony.
“Cong president believes in three principles — consensus, unanimity and unity. Mallikarjun Kharge, who has been authorised by the legislature party, will announce (the name of the leader) after holding due deliberations,” Surjewala said.
Earlier in the day, the two main chief ministerial aspirants Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar met Rahul Gandhi here separately amid hectic parleys in the Congress to decide on the chief ministerial pick.
The meetings came a day after the two held separate meetings with Kharge at his residence and discussed issues regarding the government formation.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress chief Shivakumar met Gandhi after Siddaramaiah held a 30-minute meeting with the former party chief.
Central observers for the Karnataka Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, in which the MLAs authorised Kharge to appoint the new CLP leader, also met the Congress president separately at his residence and held further discussions.
While the supporters of both leaders are pitching for their respective leaders, the Congress is working on a power-sharing formula to accommodate all sections.
The Congress has held a series of meetings on who will be the chief minister of the state after the party staged a stunning victory in the assembly elections, winning 135 of out 224 seats.