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Karnataka CM suspense: Siddaramaiah stays mum after meeting AICC leaders in Delhi

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

New Delhi: Congress veteran and frontrunner for Karnataka’s chief minister post, Siddaramaiah left Delhi’s Lodhi Hotel late on Monday night – hours after meeting top leadership of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) here.

Siddaramaiah, however, remained tight-lipped and did not interact with the reporters. According to sources, the former Chief Minister stayed at ITC Maurya in the national capital for the night.

The 75-year-old leader arrived in the national capital by a special flight on Monday evening to meet AICC leaders. “Let’s wait and see…I don’t know…” Siddaramaiah said when asked about the next CM, earlier.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar’s brother DK Suresh also arrived in Delhi and met AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence on Monday evening.

“I have met the AICC chief. I meet him whenever I come to Delhi. The same way I met him today. Our AICC general secretaries will let you know about other issues,” Suresh told reporters.

The suspense over the new Karnataka CM continued on Monday as DK Shivakumar cancelled his visit to Delhi citing health issues after he and Siddaramaiah, both frontrunners for the top post, were called by the top leadership of AICC for discussion.

The central observers of Congress for Karnataka have already submitted their report to party president Mallikarjun Kharge who will consult UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi to arrive at a final decision, party sources said earlier on Monday.

“The name of the next Karnataka CM will be announced in the coming 24 hours,” they said.

The Congress registered an emphatic victory in the Karnataka polls.

Reacting to the suspense, AICC in charge of Karnataka, Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the party will stand up with the 6.5 crore Kannadigas.

“Congress party will stand up to the pledge made to 6.5 crore Kannadigas…the observers have submitted their written report to the Congress President…he will look into the report, will hold deliberations with state leaders & other central leaders and will take an appropriate call,” he told the reporters.

Congress leader HK Patil said, “In my view, it (the name of the next Karnataka CM) will be decided by tomorrow evening. Our process is still on.”Former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is a contender for the post, reached Delhi on Monday.”Let’s wait and see…I don’t know…” the former CM said when asked about the next CM.

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar, who is also a contender for the post of Chief Minister, said that he has a stomach infection and will not be travelling to Delhi on Monday.

Congress president DK Shivakumar said that all the MLAs are together and the call will be taken by the party high command.

He was responding to ANI about the huge support from the party cadre for him to be made the chief minister.

“The party high command will take a call. I don’t want to comment or speak anything more. Whatever I had to speak, I have spoken already. I do not want MLAs (support)…that is not important to me. Ours is a Congress block. 135 is the number and one more ally member. We all are one and will work together,” Shivakumar said.

“I wanted to go today (Delhi)…but I am having some health complications for the last four hours,” he added.

On being asked if he thinks that he should be considered for the CM post for taking the party to victory as the KPCC chief, he said, “I don’t want to comment on that. In politics, it only matters who won or who lost. It doesn’t matter how the win took place. With the grace of God, we have got good numbers. Now, we have to work for the trust and confidence the people have shown”.

He added, “I’m really happy that today Mamata Banerjee has come out with some statement and various other leaders as well…it is good for the opposition,” the KPCC president said.

Earlier in the day, the KPCC chief was called by the party’s high command.

Addressing the media, Shivakumar said “It is my birthday today, I will meet my family. Afterwards, I will leave for Delhi. Under my leadership, we have 135 MLAs, all in one voice, said that the matter (to appoint CM) is to be left to the party high command. My aim was to deliver Karnataka and I did it.”

“Congress high command called me and Siddaramaiah to Delhi. Sonia Gandhi, Kharge had given me the post of president. 135 seats have come under my presidency. When all MLAs left our party and we lost our government, I did not lose hope. I do not want to disclose what has happened in the last 5 years,” the KPCC chief said.

Three central observers appointed by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in Karnataka, arrived in Delhi on Monday to present their report to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on the question of appointing the chief minister of the state.

The observers Sushil Kumar Shinde, Deepak Bawaria and Bhanwar Jitendra Singh were tasked with speaking to newly elected Congress MLAs on the election of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader in Karnataka and subsequently to submit their report to the party’s high command.

The CLP meeting on Sunday unanimously passed a resolution authorising party president Kharge to pick the name of the Karnataka Chief Minister.

Congress, which registered an emphatic victory defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the results of the May 10 Karnataka Assembly elections on Saturday, had been mulling over the choice of the chief minister. According to the Election Commission of India, Congress won 135 seats pushing the BJP – which managed to win 66 seats — out of power in the only southern state it ruled and boosting the Congress prospects for the electoral battles ahead.

Also read: Gandhi family to take final call as Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar lock horns over Karnataka CM’s post