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'Not In Hurry' To Be Chief Minister: DK Shivakumar On Opposition's Offer

Hubballi, Karnataka:

Hitting back at Karnataka former chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, who stated his readiness to offer the support of 19 of his MLAs if Deputy CM Shivakumar aspired to become chief minister, the Congress leader said that he is not in a rush to assume the post.

“We contested (the state) elections under collective leadership. We have to give good governance. I’m not in a hurry (to become CM). I have not demanded this from anyone, not even from the party leadership…” Shivakumar said.

He also reaffirmed his allegiance to the incumbent CM, Siddaramaiah, and stated that he follows the directives of the party’s high command.

“We are following whatever the high command has said, Siddaramaiah is our leader; even CM Siddaramaiah has said the same, this is our commitment,” he added.

Amid reports of factionalism in the ruling Congress and a tussle for the CM’s post between the incumbent Siddarammaiah and his deputy DK Shivkumar, Kumaraswamy on Saturday took a jibe at Shivakumar saying if he wants to ascend, he is ready and willing to assure the support of “19 JD(S) MLAs”.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru on Saturday, the JD(S) leader, said, “If Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar wants to be CM, he can count on the support of our 19 MLAs.”

Kumaraswamy’s statement came on the heels of several Congress leaders in the state claiming that several JD(S) MLAs were willing to shift allegiance to the Congress party.

Taking a swipe at the Siddaramaiah government, the JD(S) leader said he did not know how many leaders in the Congress were aspiring for the CM’s post.

“Looking at the prevailing situation in the Congress, I don’t know how many people in the party are aspiring to become chief minister. You could even call this government a TCM or DCM government. TCM stands for temporary CM, and DCM means Duplicate CM,” the JD(S) added.

However, earlier in the day, Shivakumar denied all the reports surfacing regarding discontent in the Karnataka Congress and said that there is discontent in the BJP because of which they are not able to choose their leaders.

Speaking further, he asked the media if they had seen any state or country where the leader of the opposition had not been selected even after six months.

“Where is the discontent in our party? There is discontent in the BJP, and because of that, they are not able to choose their leaders. Have you seen any state or country where the Leader of the Opposition has not been elected even after five or six months have passed since the formation of the government?” said DK Shivakumar.

Karnataka minister and Congress MLA Priyank Kharge on Saturday rubbished claims of factionalism in the ranks of the ruling party, saying all roles and responsibilities were clearly defined.

Kharge jabbed the BJP instead over the delay in appointing a state president for the party, claiming that they were struggling to “figure out how to set their house in order”.

“There is absolutely no faction in Congress. All roles and responsibilities in our party are clearly defined. Siddaramaiah is the CM, and DK Shivakumar is the deputy CM. Whatever decision has to be taken (on the change of CM) will be taken by the high command at the right time,” Kharge told ANI.

Earlier, on Friday, former Karnataka minister and BJP leader KS Eshwarappa demanded the resignation of CM Siddaramaiah claiming that his cabinet colleagues have a difference of opinion on his continuation as chief minister.

“There is a clear difference of opinion between Congress MLAs. There can’t be two different decisions on one cabinet post. Karnataka didn’t vote for such a government. I demand the resignation of the CM and his deputy. The Assembly should be dissolved and fresh elections held,” the BJP leader said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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