Karnataka government formation | Updates

Congress waits for a decision from D.K. Shivakumar, discusses various options with him; Rahul meets him and Siddaramaiah; Karnataka will have a government in 48 to 72 hours, says party leadership

May 17, 2023 09:58 am | Updated 10:36 pm IST

File picture of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

File picture of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi along with KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah | Photo Credit: SRIDHAR KAVALI

The Congress’ central leadership continued to hold talks to select the new Karnataka Chief Minister, days after a thumping win in the State Assembly elections.

After hectic parleys on May 17 to break the deadlock in deciding on the Congress’ chief ministerial pick in Karnataka, sources told The Hindu that the high command is “working” on Mr. Shivakumar, who wants the Chief Minister’s post or nothing at all.

State Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar, one of the claimants to the top job, arrived in Delhi on May 16 afternoon to hold discussions with the party top brass on the formation of the Congress Government.

Former CM Siddaramaiah, the other aspirant for the post, had already arrived with his supporters in New Delhi on May 15.

Top leadership of the Congress party held talks at the residence of party president Mallikarjun Kharge. Former party chief Rahul Gandhi too met Mr. Kharge and held closed-door talks with the Congress chief.

Digging his heels in, Mr. Shivakumar told central leaders that Mr. Siddaramaiah, while Leader of the Opposition (LoP) and while Chief Minister, had held his personal interests above that of the party’s.

Mr. Kharge held another round of meetings with the Congress leaders on May 17.

Follow live updates:

  • May 17, 2023 22:02
    Siddaramaiah is high command’s choice but Shivakumar refuses to give up

    Sources told The Hindu that the ​high command is “working”​ on Mr. Shivakumar, who spent close to an hour with Mr. Gandhi at former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s 10, Janpath residence, and then spent nearly two hours at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s official residence. Senior leaders, including Mr. Surjewala and the party’s general secretary for organisation, K.C. Venugopal, were also present.

    From rotating the chief ministership in a power sharing arrangement to offering Mr. Shivakumar the Deputy Chief Minister’s post along with his KPCC president’s post, various options were being discussed in the public domain. But there was no comment from Mr. Shivakumar on any of these options, or whether he considered them acceptable.

    Apart from meeting Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Kharge, the Karnataka Congress chief also had a one-on-one meeting with Mr. Surjewala, who then conveyed his demands to Mr. Kharge at a late meeting.

    While Mr. Shivakumar held back-to-back meetings with senior leaders — in a sign that he was the one the high command was trying to placate — Mr. Siddaramaiah went back to his hotel after meeting Mr. Gandhi in the morning. He did not have any other meetings.

    A source close to the KPCC chief told The Hindu that Mr. Shivakumar wants “the Chief Minister’s post or nothing at all”. That is the scenario that the Congress’ central leadership wants to avoid; it want both the rival leaders as part of the government in order to strengthen the party’s prospects in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

  • May 17, 2023 21:10
    Karnataka Chief Ministers over the years

    Amid hectic parleys to break the deadlock in deciding on the Congress’ chief ministerial pick in Karnataka, take a look at the Chief Ministers of Karnataka from 1956.

    KARNATAKA CMS (1).jpg

  • May 17, 2023 20:07
    New Karnataka CM likely in a day or two, cabinet within 48-72 hours: Congress

    Hectic parleys were held on May 17 to break the deadlock in deciding on the Congress’ chief ministerial pick in Karnataka with both the hopefuls Siddaramaiah and D.K. Shivakumar presenting their cases before the top brass even as the party asserted an outcome is likely within a day or two.

    After the multiple rounds of discussions, AICC general secretary in-charge for Karnataka Randeep Surjewala said a decision on the new cabinet will be in place in the next 48-72 hours.

    He also claimed that Karnataka will have a five-year-long stable government of the Congress and urged people not to believe in speculation and “fake news”, which he alleged was being peddled by the BJP.

    Later in a tweet, Surjewala said all Congress leaders have been advised not to issue statements on the leadership matter. “Any out of turn remarks made from here onwards will be treated as indiscipline and action taken accordingly.” Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief Shivakumar have held several parleys with senior Congress leadership and presented their respective cases before them.

  • May 17, 2023 19:55
    Randeep Surjewala at Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence after meeting D.K. Shivakumar

    Congress party’s incharge for Karnataka, Randeep Surjewala arrives at the residence of party’s national president Mallikarjun Kharge, in Delhi.

    Earlier this evening, Karnataka Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar met Mr. Surjewala.

  • May 17, 2023 19:53
    Delay shows lack of unity in Congress, says Bommai

    Taking a jibe at the Congress party over the delay in deciding Karnataka Chief Minister, former CM Basavaraj Bommai said that it shows a lack of unity in the party despite getting a full majority.

    Talking to reporters, the former CM said that the people of Karnataka voted for the Congress party so it must work to bring development in the state. “Delay in deciding the CM despite getting a full majority shows a lack of unity in the party. The Congress Party must stop playing politics, select a new CM and serve the people by forming the government”, Mr. Bommai said.Mr. Bommai added that it is an internal issue of the Congress Party and he would not like to talk further about it.

  • May 17, 2023 19:31
    G Parameshwara expresses confidence in running government

    “I have worked as PCC president for eight years. I brought the govt in 2013. I have been a deputy CM in the coalition govt. I certainly have the seniority and capacity to run the government,” says G Parameshwara.

  • May 17, 2023 19:20
    “It’s not infighting”, says G Parameshwara

    It’s not infighting. The scene has been shifted to Delhi,” says Karnataka Congress leader G Parameshwara on delay in announcing Karnataka CM

  • May 17, 2023 19:19
    D.K Shivakumar arrives at Randeep Surjewala’s residence

    Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar arrives at the residence of the party’s incharge for the state, Randeep Surjewala in Delhi, PTI reported.

  • May 17, 2023 19:10
    M.B. Patil at Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence

    Karnataka Congress leader M.B. Patil arrives at Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence in Delhi

  • May 17, 2023 19:06
    D.K Shivakumar leaves brother D.K Suresh’s residence

    Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar speaks on his meeting with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi; says, “Nothing, no discussion. Just pranaam...”

  • May 17, 2023 18:05
    Security beefed up in Shivakumar’s home district

    Security was stepped up in Ramanagara, the home district of D. K. Shivakumar, on Wednesday as a precautionary measure in light of his supporters staging protests at multiple places after some media outlets claimed that he lost the race for the Chief Minister’s post to Mr. Siddaramaiah.

    An alert has been sounded in Ramanagara where police personnel were deployed at important public places and the district Congress office to prevent any untoward incident, official sources said.

    - PTI

  • May 17, 2023 17:43
    ANALYSIS | Lessons from Karnataka: for the Congress, the BJP and the rest

    In Karnataka, the Congress effectively tackled the BJP framework of politics which is a combination of welfarism, caste representation and Hindutva, writes Varghese K. George.

    Welfare promises of the Congress were closer to people’s lives. Between D. K. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, the Congress pushed back against two allegations that the BJP usually raises - that it is hostile to the Hindu faith, and its Anglicised liberalism does not accommodate backward castes while it “appeased” the Muslims. Mr. Shivakumar is a religious Hindu who does not mince words when it comes to speaking up for Muslims; Mr. Siddaramaiah is a champion of caste justice. Added to this combination was the relentless campaigning by party president Mallikarjun Kharge, who is a Dalit from the State. Rahul Gandhi openly spoke about caste justice in Karnataka - a historic first for the Congress party.

    Read the full story here by subscribing to The Hindu.

  • May 17, 2023 17:26
    Bommai takes a dig at Congress, says inability to choose CM reflects ‘internal situation’

    Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the “inability” of the Congress to decide on the new Chief Minister early, despite having a complete majority, reflects on the internal situation of the party.

    He urged the Congress to settle the issue of government formation soon.

    “Despite having a complete majority, the party is unable to decide its leader. This shows the internal situation of the party.”

    “Aspirations of the people are more important than politicking. They (Congress) should settle the issue of a new chief minister and government formation as soon as possible,” he added.

    - PTI

  • May 17, 2023 17:21
    Shivakumar holds a discussion with leaders of the party and his supporters
  • May 17, 2023 16:55
    How many manifesto promises will Congress fulfill?

    As Karnataka prepares for a new Chief Minister, we’re revisiting the promises Congress made in the run-up to the Assembly elections. National president Mallikarjun Kharge earlier said the future government will start implementing the promises made in the manifesto from the first Cabinet meeting itself.

    Flyovers, Namma Metro to Tumakuru, tunnel roads in CBD — how many manifesto promises will Congress fulfil?

    Read more about the party’s ideas here.

  • May 17, 2023 16:33
    Shivakumar arrives at the residence of his brother and party MP D. K. Suresh
  • May 17, 2023 16:27
    D. K. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah meet Rahul Gandhi in Delhi
  • May 17, 2023 16:23
    In Frames | How Karnataka awaits name of the next Chief Minister

    While the people of Karnataka await the name of their next Chief Minister, the authorities began preparations on May 17 for the new government to take the oath of office.

    Supporters of Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar in New Delhi are highlighting his claim for the post of chief minister of Karnataka, outside 10 Janpath. 10, Janpath is the residence of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

    Supporters of former CM Siddaramaiah began celebrating in his native Siddaramana Hundi even before the name of the new CM was announced.

    Take a look at how the State waits in anticipation.

  • May 17, 2023 16:17
    A fake circular keeps officers busy!

    Government officials were busy at Bengaluru’s Kanteerava Stadium, preparing for the swearing-in ceremony, based on a circular which said Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot would administer the oath of office to Mr. Siddaramaiah as the 24th Chief Minister of Karnataka.

    It turns out that the circular was fake and Raj Bhavan did not issue any such communication.


    Read more here.

  • May 17, 2023 15:40
    Preparations underway in Bengaluru for swearing-in ceremony of new Karnataka CM
  • May 17, 2023 15:07
    CM’s name will be announced by Mallikarjun Kharge maybe today or tomorrow after due deliberations: Congress’ Karnataka in-charge Surjewala

    The Chief Minister’s name will be announced by Mallikarjun Kharge “maybe today or tomorrow after due deliberations”, State Congress’ in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said. “Do not resort to any speculations,” Mr. Surjuewala said.

    “The CLP has unanimously authorised Kharge ji to select the CLP leader and the CM and he will do this after having due deliberations with everyone involved,” Mr. Surjewala said. “Karnataka will have a stable government for five years,” he added.

    Mr. Surjewala said that in the next 48 to 72 hours, a new cabinet would be sworn in the State, reports Sandeep Phukan.

  • May 17, 2023 14:53
    “We want Mallikarjun Kharge to become the CM,” say protesting workers outside Karnataka PCC office
  • May 17, 2023 14:51
    Siddaramaiah supporters pour milk on his poster, chant slogans outside his Bengaluru residence
  • May 17, 2023 14:24
    “Shows internal situation in Congress”: Bommai on suspense over next Karnataka CM

    Bengaluru, May 13 (ANI): Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai tendered his resignation to state Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot following BJP's defeat in the Karnataka Assembly Election 2023, on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

    Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said that the ongoing suspense over the chief ministerial face by Congress shows the “internal situation” in the party.

    Speaking to the media, Basavaraj Bommai said that the Congress party should choose a Chief Minister at the soonest.

    “Congress is yet to finalise its CM candidate in spite of getting a majority. This shows the internal situation in the party. The aspirations of people are more important than politicking. Congress should choose a chief minister as soon as possible,” Mr. Bommai said.

    Mr. Bommai on Saturday tendered his resignation to Governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot.

    - ANI

  • May 17, 2023 14:13
    Dalit organisations want Ministerial berth for Prasad Abbayya

    A federation of various Dalit organisations and associations has urged the Congress high command to give Ministerial berth to Prasad Abbayya, who has achieved a hat-trick of victories from the Hubballi Dharwad East Assembly Constituency.

    Read the story here.

  • May 17, 2023 14:01
    Bengaluru Police inspect stadium for swearing-in ceremony
  • May 17, 2023 13:50
    D.K. Shivakumar | Congress’s man for all seasons

    Shivakumar (1).jpg

    The seven-time MLA and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, D.K. Shivakumar, is among the richest politicians in the State. Hailing from a modest agrarian Vokkaliga family, his rise and dominance in Karnataka politics is the result of hard work and assiduous grassroots management, coupled with financial muscle. Over the years, he has earned his stripes as the Congress’s trouble-shooter in Karnataka.

    Read the full profile of D.K. Shivakumar by Nagesh Prabhu here.

  • May 17, 2023 13:39
    Read The Hindu’s exclusive interview with Siddaramaiah


    Here is an interview of Siddaramaiah from April 15, 2023, during election campaigning.

    “In order to save democracy, I am working towards bringing back Congress to power,” the former Chief Minister of Karnataka had said. “On Chief Minister’s post, yes, I am also an aspirant to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka.”

  • May 17, 2023 13:19
    “Decision maybe by this evening,” Congress’ Eshwar Khandare

    Karnataka Congress working president Eshwar Khandare on Wednesday said that the suspense over the decision of the next Chief Minister of the State would likely end by this evening.

    Earlier in the day Khandare, who is in the national capital, called on the Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge at the latter’s residence.

    “I met the party’s national president Mallikarjun Kharge and discussed the recent developments in Karnataka... Only high command will decide, we are 100% united. Decision maybe by today evening,” Mr. Khandare told reporters.

    - ANI

  • May 17, 2023 12:59
    Striking a balance between castes and regions a daunting task for Congress

    While the tussle continues between Siddaramaiah and D.K. Shivakumar for the top post, different communities have begun demanding that the party high command appoint their leaders/MLAs for the post of the Chief Minister and also be given plum portfolios.

    With the Congress bagging more than 42.91% of votes and 135 Assembly seats following widespread support of Veerashaiva-Lingayat, Vokkaliga, Kuruba, Idiga, Dalit, Muslim, and other communities and from across most regions, striking a balance in the power-sharing process will remain a major challenge for the party. Seers and leaders of different communities have already begun exerting pressure on the Congress high command, reports Nagesh Prabhu.

    Read the full story here by subscribing to The Hindu.

  • May 17, 2023 12:48
    Shivakumar at 10, Janpath

    Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief D.K. Shivakumar arrives to meet Rahul Gandhi at Sonia Gandhi’s residence in Delhi on May 17, 2023.

  • May 17, 2023 12:40
    Siddaramaiah is high command’s choice for CM

    Rahul Gandhi’s back-to-back meetings with D.K. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah are being seen as ones that would work out an acceptable formula to both sides. Mr. Siddaramaiah is said to be the high command’s choice as he has the support of majority MLAs.

    But before a final announcement is made — likely to be in Bengaluru at a Congress Legislature Party meeting — the high command will have to ensure Mr. Shivakumar is on board as he is seen as the leader who revived the Congress after defections and desertions, reports Sandeep Phukan.

  • May 17, 2023 12:37
    Four MLAs from Kalaburagi in race for Ministerial berths in new government

    By winning seven out of nine segments in the recently concluded Assembly elections, the Congress has registered a spectacular performance in Kalaburagi district, the home turf of All India Congress Committee (AICC) president M. Mallikarjun Kharge.

    As the party high command is still struggling to finalise the Chief Ministerial candidate between Siddaramaiah and D.K. Shivakumar, senior partymen who won the elections from Kalaburagi have already started lobbying in the State and national capitals for securing a berth in the new Council of Ministers.

    Read the story here.

  • May 17, 2023 12:28
    Shivakumar meets Rahul Gandhi

    Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief D.K. Shivakumar is now calling on Rahul Gandhi at Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence.

    Mr. Gandhi held discussions with former CM Siddaramaiah earlier in the day.

  • May 17, 2023 12:25
    OPINION | The rebooting of the Congress

    Mysuru, May 09 (ANI): Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar along with Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and former state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah holds hands during their visit to Sri Chamundeshwari Temple, in Mysuru on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

    Prior to the announcement of the Karnataka election dates, there was little reason to believe that the Congress would secure a massive mandate, writes Valerian Rodrigues. The pronouncements of the party’s leaders on data and victory margins were meant to be inspirational rather than evidence-based. Many commentators on the mandate have focused on the failure of the BJP in highlighting issues, choosing the right candidates and slogans, and countering Opposition charges. Such comments assume that the BJP was destined to win at the hustings. It could well be argued that the mandate is a positive outcome of the redefinition of the Congress, a redefinition which has succeeded in pinning down the BJP and reducing the electoral strength of the JD(S) drastically. The social configuration in Karnataka was amply suited for the Congress’s redefinition.

    Read the full opinion piece here by subscribing to The Hindu

  • May 17, 2023 12:15
    Jairam Ramesh hits back at BJP criticism
  • May 17, 2023 12:09
    Siddramaiah reaches 10, Janpath; meets Rahul Gandhi

    Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is meeting senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at 10, Janpath, in New Delhi.

    After his disqualification as Wayanad MP, Rahul Gandhi is living in 10, Janpath, the official residence of his mother Sonia Gandhi.

    Ms. Gandhi is reportedly not in the National Capital, hence not part of any discussion regarding government formation in Karnataka.

  • May 17, 2023 12:07
    Two leaders from BJP, who were once close aides of Siddaramaiah, blame him for quitting Congress

    The ongoing tussle for Chief Minister’s post has now crossed party lines as BJP leaders Dr. K. Sudhakar and S. T. Somashekhar, who were once considered to be close aides of Mr. Siddaramaiah, blame the former Chief Minister for them quitting the Congress which ultimately led to the collapse of the then Congress-JD (S) coalition government led by H. D. Kumaraswamy.

    In separate tweets, both the leaders, who went on to become ministers after joining the BJP, have suggested that Mr. Siddaramaiah’s stand against the then coalition government pushed them to towards deciding to quit the Congress.

    Both the BJP leaders and former ministers are Vokkaligas, the same community to which Mr. Shivakumar belongs.

    Read about it here.

  • May 17, 2023 11:58
    Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar to meet Rahul Gandhi in Delhi today

    As the suspense over the next Karnataka Chief Minister intensifies, Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and D.K. Shivakumar are scheduled to meet party leader Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Wednesday.

    Earlier today, Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal visited UPA chairperson and party MP Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence in Delhi. The UPA Chairperson is expected to meet some leaders who are part of the decision-making process in Karnataka.

    Karnataka Congress working president Eshwar Khandare and other MLAs are at the residence of party president Mallikarjun Kharge.

    - ANI

  • May 17, 2023 11:19
    Decoding the Karnataka election results | In Focus podcast

    The Congress returned to power in Karnataka with an emphatic victory. It won 135 seats – more than double the BJP’s tally – and increased its vote share by 5% from the last Assembly poll. While the BJP held on to its vote share, its seat share fell by one-third. All the high decibel campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah proved to be inadequate.

    How did the Congress manage to secure this victory? What were the main issues that decided the elections? And what does this poll result mean for the big Assembly elections that are due later this year, and of course the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

    Dr Chandan Gowda, Ramakrishna Hegde Chair Professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, speaks to G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.

    Listen to the podcast here.

  • May 17, 2023 11:13
    Congress hits back at BJP for questioning delay in deciding Karnataka CM

    The Congress on Wednesday hit out at the BJP for criticising it over the delay in deciding the Chief Minister of Karnataka, and cited examples when the BJP declared its chief ministers in Uttar Pradesh and Assam several days after winning the polls.

    Read the story here​.

  • May 17, 2023 10:53
    “Consultations are still on...”: Congress MP Syed Naseer

    Congress MP Syed Naseer Hussain on Tuesday night said that consultations are still on at the national level for the selection of Karnataka CM.

    Mr. Hussain was leaving from the party chief Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence in the national capital after a meeting on Tuesday night. He however told reporters that there was no meeting and that his visit was just a “courtesy call”.

    “There was no meeting. These were courtesy calls. Both DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah met the national president, discussed everything that happened in the election and gave him feedback. Consultations are still on at the national level. These will continue tomorrow. As soon as a decision is made, we will tell you,” Mr. Hussain on Tuesday.

    Party sources said UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is likely to reach Delhi on Wednesday from Himachal Pradesh and is expected to meet some leaders who are part of the decision-making process in Karnataka.

    - ANI

  • May 17, 2023 10:09
    Lokniti-CSDS postpoll study

    Since 1985, Karnataka has never voted back a ruling party. The same trend has continued in 2023. Defying many predictions of an Assembly without a clear majority, the Congress received a clear mandate, winning 135 seats in the State and increasing its vote share by close to 5% points. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) more or less retained its vote share, but its seats plummeted by one-third. The Janata Dal (Secular) saw a fall of 5% points in its vote share and a slash in its tally by half.

    Both the Congress and the BJP invested a lot of time, energy and effort in winning this election. The BJP was keen to retain its only bastion in the south, while the Congress wished to seize the opportunity provided by an unpopular government in the State.

    Click here to read what the postpoll survey revealed

  • May 17, 2023 09:58
    No decision yet on Karnataka CM after day of lobbying

    The Congress leadership’s deliberations to select a new Chief Minister for Karnataka remained inconclusive as rival claimants, ​Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief D.K. Shivakumar​ and ​former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah​, refused to back down from their respective positions on May 16.

    Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, who met both Mr. Siddaramaiah and ​Mr. Shivakumar​ at his residence, is likely to hold another round of meetings on May 17, sources said.

    Read Tuesday night’s ​update here​.

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