Tussle in Karnataka Congress over KPCC Chief post continues as DK Shivakumar faces stiff challenge from Siddaramaiah

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BENGALURU: The ongoing tussle for KPCC president post in Karnataka seems to have headed for a major showdown as no consensus was arrived at till Saturday evening.

DNN had earlier reported extensively on this matter quoting party insider sources that the Congress High Command had planned to induct DK Shivakumar as KPCC president after initial reluctance.  In the story, we had clearly reported that the top post may elude DK Shivakumar again.

In another follow-up story, DNN had reported on Friday that, though sources have revealed that Sonia Gandhi has decided to hand KPCC chief post to DK Shivakumar, she however was not able to achieve consensus among all state leaders. Particularly, ex-CM Siddaramaiah camp which had pitted MB Patil as its choice for the job.

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With the Congress high command reportedly favouring DK Shivakumar over MB Patil for the KPCC president post, former chief minister Siddaramaiah is said to have played another card to keep Shivakumar in check.

The former CM, who is backing Patil, has reportedly urged the high command to appoint four working KPCC presidents — one each from prominent communities — and to make Shivakumar president. He has suggested the names of Satish Jarkiholi (ST), Zameer Ahmed Khan or UT Khader (minorities) Eshwar Khandre (Lingayat) and Chandrappa or HC Mahadevappa (SC) for the posts.

“This would ensure social justice and also help the party in the next elections,” Siddaramaiah is said to told the high command. The former CM has also advised the high command against splitting the posts of opposition leader and Congress Legislature Party leader. Siddaramaiah currently holds both posts since his resignation has not been accepted.

“The high command cannot afford to lose Siddaramaiah, but it doesn’t want to keep him at the helm either,” said a senior functionary. “Siddaramaiah knows this well which is why he is making these suggestions.”

However, sources say Shivakumar is likely to be named KPCC president. “The high command has more or less finalised his name and is working on sorting out issues with the appointment of opposition leader and the Congress Legislature Party leaders besides working presidents. Once that is settled, the announcement will be made,” said an aide of Shivakumar.

At the time of publishing this story, it is learnt that DK Shivakumar has made it clear to the Congress High Command that he will not accept KPCC President post if four more ‘working presidents’ are appointed along with him. On the other side, Siddaramaiah is also adamant that his people must be given recognition if DK Shivakumar is to be accepted as KPCC Chief.

The stalemate, with neither side ready to budge an inch, at this point of time continues in Karnataka Congress.

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