Shivkumar urges not to disturb him on MB Patil's statement on Siddaramaiah's full-term CM posttext_fields
Bengaluru: Karnataka Minister MB Patil's statement that the newly sworn-in Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, would complete his five-year tenure without any power-sharing, which was devised as a formula to address differences within the party, triggered a controversy.
“There are no talks about power-sharing, and Siddaramaiah will remain the CM for the full term," he declared while talking to the media.
Though he maintained what he had said was not his personal, his statement created speculation in political circles, while DK Shivkumar, the deputy CM and the projected CM for the second term of the Congress government, responded that he was not interested in replying to anyone's statements in this regard.
When asked about this, Shivakumar on Tuesday curtly requested the media not to disturb him. "I won't react to anyone's statements. Let them say whatever they want. All India Congress Committee (AICC) president, General Secretary, Chief Minister are there," he responded to Patil's statements.
Regarding power-sharing between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal remarked that power was being given to the people of Karnataka. The high command has not offered clarity on the issue so far. Party seniors are displeased with the development and feel that Patil's statement at this stage was unnecessary.
There was a cold war between Patil and Shivakumar when the former was inducted into the Siddaramaiah-led Cabinet in 2013 while Shivakumar was kept out. Patil is considered to be the favourite of Siddaramaiah.
Patil and Siddaramaiah made a failed attempt to create a separate religious category for Lingayats in the 2018 Assembly elections. Shivakumar had then repeatedly tendered an unconditional apology to Lingayats, much to Patil's chagrin.
Patil had questioned Shivakumar on this and raised questions about his right to seek an apology. Patil further attacked Shivakumar, accusing him of destroying the Congress in south Karnataka. He called Shivakumar tainted and maintained that in the 2018 elections, this could have worked against the Congress party.
In the latest episode, ShivaSiddaramaiah'skumar has not responded to Patil's statements. However, sources indicate that he is preparing a parallel Lingayat leadership against Patil. Various Lingayat groups have already objected to the preference being given to Patil, who represents a small sub-caste, over sub-castes with larger populations.
Priyank Kharge, a cabinet minister, dismissed Patil's statements on power-sharing as irrelevant. "No one knows the details of the discussion between them. It is known only to CM Siddaramaiah, Dy CM Shivakumar, Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, and KC Venugopal," he said, adding that the legislature party meeting did not discuss power-sharing. "I don't know what information MB Patil has. I can only tell you what I know," Priyank said.
With IANS inputs