Congress Ministers again push for 3 more Deputy CMs in Karnataka


PTI, Jun 24, 2024, 8:18 PM IST

D K Shivakumar (Credit: PTI / File)

Bengaluru: With demand for three more Deputy Chief Ministers in Karnataka once again coming to the fore, the State Congress chief D K Shivakumar on Monday said the party’s central leadership will take a call.

Some of the Ministers in the Siddaramaiah-led cabinet have been pitching for deputy chief minister posts to be given to leaders from Veerashaiva-Lingayat, SC/ST and minority communities.

Currently, Shivakumar from the Vokkaliga community is only the Deputy Chief Minister in the cabinet.

“Party will decide…..I don’t know about all those things,” Shivakumar told reporters in response to a question on three more Deputy CMs and changing the party state President.

A section within the Congress is said to be of the opinion that statement by the Ministers was part of a plan by Siddaramaiah’s camp to keep Shivakumar in check, amid talks he might seek the CM post after two-and-half years of this government’s tenure and to counter his influence both in the government and party.

The Ministers who have pitched for three more DCMs are considered close to Siddaramaiah.

Stating that when power is distributed all communities will show their liking towards the party and it will not be the case only if a few people enjoy power, Co-Operation Minister K N Rajanna said he had proposed a Deputy Chief Minister from Lingayat, SC/ST and minority communities.

“There is an example of BJP doing it in the past,” he said. Rajanna earlier too had made a similar demand.

Minister for Housing B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan saw nothing wrong with the demand to have more DCMs.

“Every one will have desire, there will be a demand from all communities for Deputy CM post whether it is Muslim community, Lingayats, SC/ST. From Vokkaliga community D K Shivakumar is there (as DCM). What’s wrong in other communities asking? Ours is a high command party, they will decide ultimately, whether to give or not,” he said.

Social Welfare Minister H C Mahadevappa said, there is no quota for such posts in the Constitution, and the position is given based on one’s capability. “Many Dalit leaders have the capability and based on that it should be given, not on quota.”

Asked whether it was an attempt to weaken Shivakumar, he said, “no one can weaken any one. Whatever has to be decided will be ultimately decided by the Congress high command…when I’m asked for my opinion, I will tell the party.”

Earlier, Public Works Minister Satish Jarkiholi too had spoken favouring the proposal, keeping the communities that have stood by the party in mind.

The Congress had reportedly decided that Shivakumar will be “the only” Deputy CM amid stiff competition between him and Siddaramaiah for the Chief Minister’s post after the Assembly election results in May last year.

It was also said to be a “commitment” made by the Congress leadership to Shivakumar while convincing him to give up his claim for the CM post and to take up the role of deputy chief minister.

Meanwhile, IT Minister Priyank Kharge termed the demand for more DCMs as their “personal opinion”.

“Everyone has the right to ask, let them go and ask the high command, but if every thing will happen only by making more DCMs, let there be one CM and rest all in the cabinet be made DCMs. Is it possible?” he said.

“As Ministers we have to introspect on party performance in the Lok Sabha polls, whether we have given power to party workers, whether we are doing our job as Ministers correctly…place your demand at the right form, not before you (media),” he said.

Home Minister G Parameshwara said: “It is left for high command to decide, if necessary they will do.”

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