Bengaluru, May 23: The tussle between Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D.K. Shivakumar over the power-sharing formula has come to the fore in the very first week after the formation of the government. When asked about the row, Shivakumar on Tuesday curtly asked the media not to disturb him.
"Don't disturb me," said Shivakumar as he looked disturbed and maintained a distance from media persons.
Minister M.B. Patil on Monday said that Siddaramaiah will complete the five-year tenure. "There are no talks about power-sharing and Siddaramaiah will remain the CM for the full term," he stated stirring a controversy.
When his statements triggered speculation in the political corridors, on Tuesday Patil maintained that he had not made any personal comments over the issue. "I have reiterated what senior leaders announced in the press conference," he said.
Sources explained that Shuivakumar is upset over the remarks and his media statement 'don't disturb me' was aimed at M.B. Patil.
When asked about power-sharing between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal had remarked that power was being given to the people of Karnataka. The high command has not given clarity about the issue so far.
The party seniors are unhappy about the development and feel that Patil's statement at this stage was unnecessary.
There was a cold war between Patil and Shivakumar when the former was inducted in Siddaramaiah-led Cabinet in 2013 and Shivakumar was kept out. Patil is equally resourceful as Shivakumar is and is considered to be the blue-eyed boy of Siddaramaiah.
Patil and Siddaramaiah made a failed attempt to create a separate religion category for Lingayats in the 2018 Assembly elections. Shivakumar had then tendered an unconditional apology to Lingayats repeatedly, much to the chagrin of Patil.
Patil had questioned Shivakumar on this and had raised questions on his right to seek apology. Patil further attacked Shivakumar that he had destroyed Congress in south Karnataka. The Congress party has taken a toll due to his egoistic demeanor and body language. He had also called Shivakumar tainted and maintained that in the 2018 elections this could also have worked against the Congress party.
Now, in the latest episode, Shivakumar has not reacted to his statements. However, sources said that he is preparing a parallel Lingayat leadership against Patil. Various Lingayat groups have already objected to preference being given to Patil, who represents a small sub-caste, over sub castes with larger populations.
Priyank Kharge, a cabinet minister, while reacting over Patil's statement, explained that the statements on power-sharing by Patil were irrelevant. "No one knows the details of the discussion between them. It is known only to CM Siddaramaiah, DyCM D.K. Shivakumar, Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal," he said.
The legislature party meeting did not discuss power-sharing. "I don't know what information M.B. Patil has it. I can tell what I know," Kharge said.
Add new comment