With Siddaramaiah on his right and state Congress chief DK Shivakumar on his left, Randeep ingh Surjewala, the party’s Karnataka in-charge, today announced that the two will work together and neither will be projected as a Chief Ministerial candidate.
The decision followed the eruption of internal fighting between their two camps over who would be the leader. Even though Siddaramaiah, a former Chief Minster, has denied any rift within the party, loyalists of both camps have in recent weeks been publicly backing their respective leaders for the top post in the state.
Ultimately Rahul Gandhi had to intervene and decide that no one will be given preference.
When asked by NDTV who will lead the party — Punjab recently witnessed an ugly fight over leadership and Karnataka seemed to be moving in that direction — Mr Surjewala said both Siddaramaiah and Mr Shivakumar had been asked to work together.
The Congress says it’s mission in Karnataka is 150-Plus and MLAs will choose a Chief Minister after the assembly election. In the next few weeks, a much overdue reconstitution of the state Congress is expected to take place.
The party’s Karnataka unit has so far not projected anyone as a Chief Ministerial candidate unlike in the run up to elections in Punjab where Amarinder Singh’s name was announced.
The resolution of the crisis in Karnataka comes ahead of the impending resignation of BS Yediyurappa as Chief Minister. The Congress has been attacking the BJP government over corruption and failure to perform and plans a series of protests across the state.