‘Shivakumar is an andhbhakt of Congress ideology and principles.’
Karnataka’s voters handed over a decisive victory to the Congress last week, ensuring their win in 135 seats out of 228 in the assembly elections.
The chief minister’s crown, many felt, would go to Karnataka Pradesh Congress Comittee President D K Shivakumar, but then there was another strong contender in former chief minister Siddaramiah.
For four days the Congress leadership was convulsed over the decision, with both leaders digging their heels in and staking claim to the CM post.
Congress party crisis managers Sushil Kumar Shinde, Jitendra Singh and Deepak Babaria were deputed observers for the election of the Congress Legislature Party leader in Karnataka, but with the search for consensus elusive the action shifted to New Delhi.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, who was authorised by the CLP to name the chief minister, held extensive talks with both contenders, as did party general secretaries K C Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala, and former party president Rahul Gandhi.
The parleys continued till late into Wednesday night, and finally on Thursday morning Siddaramiah pipped rival DKS, as he is known, to the post.
Shivakumar will be the deputy chief minister, it was announced.
Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com spoke to Deepak Babaria, who was involved in the process to finalise the CM, to know what made Shivakumar change his mind and agree to the No. 2 post in the government.
Not many people know that D K Shivakumar has great respect for (former Congress president) Sonia Gandhi.
For him, Sonia Gandhi’s word is the last word and he will not argue with that.
Rahul Gandhi also played an important role to come out with a formula to end this crisis.
And then there was our party president, Mallikarjun Kharge, who was trying to bring out a solution to this leadership crisis.
Shivakumar’s respect for Sonia Gandhi began from the day when her husband Rajiv Gandhi spotted his talent as a young National Students Union of India leader in Karnataka.
At one of the meetings when Rajiv Gandhi met Shivakumar, he was so impressed with his sincerity that he told him he has to contest elections on a Congress ticket.
Shivakumar said ‘yes’and as they say, the rest is history.
From that day onwards he is a loyal Congress party man and will continue to remain so.
Shivakumar is not a traitor like Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Before leaving Bengaluru for Delhi, he told reporters that he will not betray the party and will never be a traitor.
He said that he will not rock the boat and he will be a dedicated Congressman.
People should understand that just like there are supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party who are andhbhakt (blind believers), D K Shivakumar is an andhbhakt of Congress ideology and principles.
When he came to Delhi we all knew his immense contribution to the party in winning the Karnataka assembly elections. He had to go to jail too for taking a stance against the Modi government.
The media tried its best to spread the message that Shivakumar was going the Sachin Pilot way in Rajasthan, but these all were make-believe stories.
Just like there is no problem in the Rajasthan Congress party, there is no problem in the Karnataka Congress party too.
Shivakumar knows that if any party that can take India on the right direction of progress it is the Congress. No other party has the capability and ability to do that.
The Congress victory in the Karnataka elections will have a ripple effect across South Indian states in the general elections of 2024.
Shivakumar will ensure the success of the Congress will not be restricted to his state alone, but to the Centre too in the 2024 general elections.
Already, in Madhya Pradesh the party workers are very charged up and feel that there is no way the Congress will lose the state in the coming assembly elections that is to be held in December 2023.
Many people in North India believed that the Congress will never be able to defeat the BJP in a straight fight in any of the states, and we did it in Karnataka.
We have proved all the poll pundits wrong and now there is a new-found vigour in Congress workers to defeat the BJP in other states.
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