D K Shivakumar likely to be named next Karnataka Congress president
Shivakumar and former home minister M B Patil were the two main contenders for the KPCC chief’s post. Former CM Siddaramiah had met the Congress high command earlier in the week.Updated: Jan 16, 2020 21:01 IST
The Congress party’s ace troubleshooter in Karnataka D K Shivakumar is likely to be named as the next president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, according to sources within the party. Both CLP leader S Siddaramaiah as well as KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao had offered their resignations to the party high command in the light of the poor performance in by-polls held in December where the party managed to win only two of the 15 seats.
Shivakumar and former home minister M B Patil were the two main contenders for the KPCC chief’s post. Former CM Siddaramiah had met the Congress high command earlier in the week. Though he is said to have indicated a preference for Patil, Shivakumar’s ‘sacrifices’ – he shepherded Gujarat Congress MLAs at a resort when the BJP was said to be trying to lure them, as well as his role in ensuring continuation of the coalition government for 14 months – is said to have swung things in his favour.
Also Shivakumar is a Vokkaliga, a caste that has not been sympathetic to the BJP and comes from the Southern part of the state where the party did relatively better in the assembly polls. Congress leaders were tightlipped about the possible choice of DKShi as he is called, being elevated to the party presidentship saying everything will be clear in a ‘matter of hours or at worst a day or two’. BJP leaders refused to comment on his possible elevation saying ‘it is an internal matter of the opposition party’.
Apart from being a troubleshooter, DKShi is seen as somebody who will be able to help the party raise resources as well as being a strong and articulate opposition leader. Siddaramiah is expected to continue as the CLP and opposition leader.
Political analyst Manjunath said, “While he is a formidable organizer, he also comes with a lot of baggage including the Damocles sword of ED and IT cases hanging over his head. Remember he is out on bail after having been in Tihar Jail and this will be used by his opponents.”