On Thursday, the Congress central leadership revealed that Siddaramaiah is set to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka, with DK Shivakumar appointed as his sole deputy. Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot invited Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar to be sworn in alongside their team members at Kanteerava Stadium Bengaluru on May 20 at 12:30 pm.
This announcement resolved a period of uncertainty, confirming that Siddaramaiah would lead the state while DK Shivakumar, the state party chief, would serve as his only deputy. Here are the key developments in the formation of the Karnataka government:
- The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) formally elected Siddaramaiah as its leader and Karnataka’s Chief Minister, after which he staked his claim with the governor, who then invited him to form the government.
- A gathering of newly-elected Congress MLAs, MLCs, and MPs occurred at Indira Gandhi Bhavan in Bengaluru, attended by AICC General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala and two other central observers – former Maharashtra CM Sushil Kumar Shinde and AICC General Secretary Jitendra Singh.
- Surjewala reported that Shivakumar proposed a resolution to elect Siddaramaiah as the new CLP leader, which was unanimously endorsed by all members.
- Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar received a warm reception upon arriving in Bengaluru that evening.
- Top Congress leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi, engaged in extensive discussions with Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, eventually resolving the deadlock over Karnataka’s top position.
- Reports suggest that Sonia Gandhi, who was on vacation in Shimla, played a key role in mediating the situation. The stalemate ended after she spoke to Shivakumar, a Gandhi family loyalist, on Wednesday night. According to PTI, she also asked Shivakumar to consult with Kharge and Rahul to resolve the issue.
- The final decision was made at Kharge’s residence on Wednesday night and followed up with a meeting at AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal’s residence the next morning.
- Intense negotiations continued until early Thursday, with both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar presenting their cases to party leaders. Shivakumar insisted on being made Chief Minister due to the party’s impressive victory in the state under his presidency, prolonging the leadership dispute in Karnataka.
- Citing sources, PTI reported that Rahul Gandhi informed Shivakumar that the individual with the majority of MLA support would become Chief Minister, and others must comply, indicating Siddaramaiah’s appointment and Shivakumar’s concession.
- To secure his position as the second-in-command in the Karnataka government, Shivakumar was named the only Deputy Chief Minister.