BENGALURU, May 23 (PTI): Karnataka minister M B Patil’s statement that chief minister Siddaramaiah will complete full five years in office has created some flutter in the ruling Congress circles, as it came days after the government being sworn-in following marathon discussions in Delhi over who will lead the state.
Among the possible scenarios that did the rounds last week ahead of the government formation was “power sharing or rotational CM” formula to accommodate both Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief and now deputy CM DK Shivakumar in the top post in turns.
Denying any proposed arrangement that Shivakumar will take over as CM after two-and-half years or post-2024 Lok Sabha polls, Patil on Monday said Siddaramaiah will lead the government for a full five year term.
Seemingly upset by the statement, Shivakumar did not want to react to Patil but said the party high command will take care of it. However, his brother and Bangalore Rural MP D K Suresh said he too can respond sharply to what Patil has said, but will not do so.
With both chief ministerial aspirants Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar digging in their heels post Congress’ victory in the May 10 Assembly polls, prolonged parleys involving the grand old party’s central leadership had preceded their appointment as CM and deputy CM, respectively, last week.
There have been reports quoting party sources that the high command had put forward the proposal of rotational chief ministers to break the deadlock then.
“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,” Patil had told reporters in Mysuru on Monday, responding to a question if Siddaramaiah will remain as CM for five years or is there a power sharing formula.
To a question on discussions over a change in CM after the 2024 Parliamentary polls and whether Shivakumar will be given a chance, 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.”
On Tuesday, Patil sought to clarify that his statement before the media on May 22 was a reiteration of what AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal had told the press, soon after announcing the names of Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar to the two top posts 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,” he told reporters here.
On 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 (Mallikarjun Kharge) is there…”
However, his brother Suresh openly expressed displeasure over 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 opposition party also said that looking at all the developments so far, there are no signs or guarantee that this government will be stable, despite getting majority. Congress won 135 seats in the 224-member house,
The government came to existence on Saturday, with eight cabinet Ministers along with CM and the 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.