In Siddaramaiah vs Shivakumar race for Karnataka CM post, 2 more options pop up

  • While Karnataka awaits Congress High Command's choice to helm the legislative assembly, two other options have cropped their head- the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, an influential Lingayat community, and the Congress leader G Parameshwara.

Livemint
Updated16 May 2023, 04:07 PM IST
Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar during celebrations
Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar during celebrations(PTI)

The state of Karnataka is yet to know the name of its next chief minister, couple of days after the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Election saw the Congress register a historic victory by bagging a win in 135 seats. The favorite contenders for the Chief Minister post for the state that houses the ‘silicon valley of India’ Bengaluru are Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar.

While Karnataka and by far the nation awaits with bated breath to see who Congress High Command chooses to helm the legislative assembly of Karnataka, two other options have cropped their head- the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, an influential Lingayat community, and the Congress leader G Parameshwara.

Lingayat community demands a Lingayat CM 

On Monday Veerashaiva Samaj Kalaburagi President Arun Kumar Patil told news agency ANI, “Congress won with the support of Lingayats. 39 elected Congress MLAs are from the Lingayat community. Lingayat community has many able candidates for the post of CM. It’s sad that their names aren’t being put forward. There’s MB Patil, Shamanuru Shivashankarappa and Eshwar Khandre. The Karnataka Lingayat association requests them to make one of these people CM”.

The Veerashaiva Samaj Kalaburagi President made a demand of appointing a CM from the Lingayat community.

Karnataka's influential and dominant Lingayat community constitutes 17 per cent of the state's population. It is to be noted that while Lingayat leaders Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Savadi quit the BJP over denial of ticket to contest in the May 10 Assembly elections and joined the Congress, BS Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai did not.

In the run-up to the elections, the Lingayat community declared their support for the Congress and has now demanded that the Chief minister for the state should be declared from their community.

Call for a Dalit or Lingayat Chief Minister among the voters and supporters in Karnataka stand as a substantial threat to either Siddaramaiah or Shivakumar becoming the Chief Minister of Karnataka, despite being significant heavyweights.

Notably, the Karnataka Veerashaiva Lingayat forum had issued an official letter extending its support to Congress in the Karnataka Assembly elections on 10 May.

In March this year, All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, led by its chairman and Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, had met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in New Delhi, demanding that 52 to 60 seats be given to the Veerashaiva Lingayat community.

Cong's Parameshwara throws hat in ring for CM's post

On Tuesday supporters of former Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka and Congress leader G Parameshwara took out a rally demanding that he be made the Chief Minister of Karnataka, even as Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar await a decision in national capital Delhi. 

The former state Congress President said, the high command is aware of his service to the party, and he doesn't feel the need to lobby for the post. "If the high command decides and asks me to run the government, I'm ready to take up the responsibility," the former Deputy Chief Minister told reporters in Bengaluru

"I have faith in the party high command. I have certain principles. I can also take about 50 legislators and do the shouting, but for me the discipline of the party is important. If people like us don't follow things, there won't be any discipline in the party. I have said that if the high command gives me the responsibility, I will take it up. I have not said I won't.", he said.

"I feel there is no need for me to ask for the post or lobby for it, and I'm quiet. That doesn't mean i'm incapable, I'm capable and if given an opportunity will do the job," he added.

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First Published:16 May 2023, 04:07 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaIn Siddaramaiah vs Shivakumar race for Karnataka CM post, 2 more options pop up

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