Congress high command leaders too divided between Siddu, DKS?

“Five to six leaders, including Dr HC Mahadevappa, KJ George and I, met Rahul along with Siddaramaiah.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with DCM D K Shivakumar during Guarantee Schemes Implementation Committee meeting at KPCC.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with DCM D K Shivakumar during Guarantee Schemes Implementation Committee meeting at KPCC.File Photo | ENS

BENGALURU: Like others in the party, Congress high command leaders too seem to be divided between Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and DCM DK Shivakumar, also KPCC president, over changing the chief minister and KPCC chief, and creating more deputy chief minister posts.

Siddaramaiah, who was in New Delhi, held a confidential meeting with Leader of Opposition Rahul Gandhi on Saturday evening, while Shivakumar met AICC president Mallikarjuna Kharge in the morning. Though what was discussed in the two meetings was not revealed, highly-placed sources said changes in the top posts being part of the talks cannot be ruled out.

“Five to six leaders, including Dr HC Mahadevappa, KJ George and I, met Rahul along with Siddaramaiah. After we all came out, Siddaramaiah held personal talks with Rahul for ten minutes. I don’t know what they spoke about,” Home Minister Dr G  Parameshwara told reporters in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with DCM D K Shivakumar during Guarantee Schemes Implementation Committee meeting at KPCC.
DK Shivakumar warns Congress netas going public on leadership issue

He opined that Shivakumar may not find time to carry out KPCC chief’s responsibilities as he holds two important portfolios of water resources and Bengaluru development. He said the high command will consider changing the KPCC president by appointing a leader from  communities that have stood strong with the party.

Parameshwara’s comments are along the same lines as Cooperation Minister KN Rajanna’s. Grasping this, Shivakumar spoke to Parameshwara over phone after returning from New Delhi and conveyed Kharge’s message to him, a source said. Kharge is said to be convinced that Shivakumar should continue as KPCC chief till BBMP and ZP/TP polls are held, the source added.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with DCM D K Shivakumar during Guarantee Schemes Implementation Committee meeting at KPCC.
Siddaramaiah loyalists target DK Shivakumar again over Deputy CM demands

Kharge was also convinced that the Kuruba community, to which Siddaramaiah belongs, is not backing Congress anymore like it did during the Assembly polls. The AICC president was also told that with Vokkaligas and Lingayats supporting the BJP-JDS alliance unitedly, it would not be a wise move now to remove Shivakumar, also a Vokkaliga, as KPCC chief, a source said.

But Rahul’s Man Friday and AICC general secretary KC Venugopal may go with Siddaramaiah camp’s theory that the AHINDA communities -- Muslims and SC/ST/OBCs -- that voted for Congress in the Lok Sabha elections should be given representation by appointing their leaders as deputy chief ministers and KPCC president.

PWD Minister Satish Jarkiholi, a Scheduled Tribe leader and a Siddaramaiah loyalist, has stated openly that he is ready to take up the KPCC position by sacrificing his minister’s post. But Kharge may go for a Veerashaiva-Lingayat leader from North Karnataka, a Congress leader said. In that case, ministers Eshwar Khandre, MB Patil and HK Patil could be considered.

But will they sacrifice their ministerial posts is the big  question. While former chief minister and Lingayat strongman BS  Yediyurappa’s son BY Vijayendra is BJP state president, Congress may pick a leader from a subsect, like Panchamasali-Lingayat, for the post, another leader said.

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