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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Karnataka govt formation: Shivakumar convenes CLP meeting today evening


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Bengaluru: The process of forming a new government in Karnataka has almost been drawn up with Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar shooting a letter to all MLAs to attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting here on Thursday evening.

However, the Congress party is yet to officially announce the name of the next chief minister.

The meeting of newly-elected MLAs, MLCs and MPs is scheduled to be held at the Indira Gandhi Bhavan on Queen’s Road at 7 pm, Shivakumar told reporters in New Delhi.

The deadlock in picking the chief minister between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar seems to have been solved after a series of late Wednesday night meetings which extended to the wee hours of Thursday.

The meeting was attended by AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress General Secretaries KC Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala and the two Karnataka veterans.

The impasse was hammered out by Sonia Gandhi during a video conferencing with Kharge.

A formula to break the impasse was finalised during a video conference between Kharge and Sonia Gandhi. Sources said Rahul Gandhi also favoured that the leader with highest number of MLAs’ support should be chosen.

The oath taking ceremony will take place in Bengaluru Kanteerava stadium on Saturday in the presence of Congress leadership, which would also include party Chief Ministers.

Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar had been vying for chief minister’s post after Congress got an absolute majority, ousting the BJP government on May 13. A CLP meeting on Sunday had authorised Kharge to choose the next chief minister.

However, both the leaders did not arrive at a consensus till Thursday morning and insisted that they should be made the sole CM.

The last four days saw intense parleys of meetings with both leaders listing out each others’ strengths and weaknesses.

Siddaramaiah reportedly argued that Shivakumar as chief minister would be problematic with Karnataka Congress President facing court cases, which would smear the image of the government.

Siddaramaiah also claimed that he is the popular face and vote catcher and commands respect of Muslims and backward caste voters, who would be decisive in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

On the flip side, Shivakumar claimed that the Congress lost power after a five-year rule of Siddaramaiah and was given CLP leader’s post, but he could not perform better in the Lok Sabha elections.


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