Congress asks D K Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah to stay away from Delhi as power tussle continues

The tussle for power seems to be far from over in the state of Karnataka. In a recent development, the meeting between the leaders of Congress high command and Karnataka Congress leaders have been cancelled. Even the Congress’s chief strategist D K Shivakumar and ex-CM Siddaramaiah have been asked to stay back in Bangalore.

In the light of allocation of ministries in the state, senior Karnataka Congress leaders were said to be travelling to Delhi in order to meet Congress party president Rahul Gandhi today. This meeting has been suddenly cancelled. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, former chief minister Siddaramaiah and the power-wrestler of state politics D K Shivakumar had requested for an appointment with Rahul Gandhi, but their request has been turned down.

It has been almost two weeks since the formation of the government in Karnataka but the coalition has not been able to develop consensus regarding cabinet formation. It is also said that there is a discontent among the leaders of Congress both internally and with the JDS regarding the power-sharing agreement. Even one of the most powerful leaders of the Congress, D K Shivakumar also seems to be upset, as he was denied the Power Ministry which he was holding onto in the last tenure. It is said that the Power Ministry is to be given to H D Revanna, another son H D Devegowda

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JDS too has been playing it carefully, as it doesn’t want to concede much of the control to the Congress. There is a sense that the JDS leadership does not want to lose the perception of being the only Vokkaliga stronghold party to Congress and its de facto leader D K Shivakumar by giving him any powerful position in the state.

Even Congress leaders are not happy regarding the full five-year term given to H D Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister. Recently Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara had raised some questions about it. Some leaders are of the view that there should be a review of the Cabinet posts after some time. Given that there are too many bigwigs in both parties who are all lobbying for various portfolios, the division of the ministries between the two parties has only heightened the tension within the alliance.

The elections to 222 seats of Karnataka state assembly has been conducted on May 12th and results were announced on May 15th. BJP had won 104 seats, while Congress and JDS had secured 78 and 38 seats respectively.

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