After settling for the deputy chief minister post, DK Shivakumar said, “When people have given such a big mandate, we should definitely be happy.”
Ending the stalemate over the next Karnataka chief minister, the Congress on Thursday assigned the top post to veteran leader Siddaramaiah and the number two position to ‘troubleshooter’ DK Shivakumar. Considered a strong contender for the chief minister’s post after the party’s huge win in the state assembly elections, Shivakumar revealed that he was not dismayed about settling for the deputy CM position after days of negotiations. Counting the party’s success in the polls as a reason to be happy, the state unit chief asserted that their primary agenda is to deliver on all the promises.
Speaking to news agency ANI, the deputy CM-designate said, “Why should I be upset? There is a long way to go. When people have given such a big mandate, we should definitely be happy and fulfil the promises. That is our main motto, agenda.”
After nearly a week of speculations, Shivakumar, who will be the party’s Karnataka unit boss till the 2024 Lok Sabha election, reportedly agreed to the deal after discussions with Sonia Gandhi.
Earlier in the day, Shivakumar said he had agreed to become deputy CM in the larger interests of the Congress.
“The Congress party has a commitment before the people of Karnataka. Parliament elections are ahead. So, I have to bow to the AICC president and the Gandhi family. In the larger interest of the party (I have agreed to the formula) and why not, because sometimes the ice should break. Ultimately, there is a responsibility towards what we have a commitment to the people of Karnataka and we have to deliver,” the 61-year-old Vokkaliga leader said. He assured that the party leaders are “united” in ensuring a secure future and peoples welfare in the state.
Shivakumar’s brother DK Suresh, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the compromise and said, “I am not fully happy but in the interest of Karnataka we wanted to fulfil our commitment…That is why DK Shivakumar had to accept….I wish it (CM post for DK Shivakumar) to happen, but it didn’t. We will wait and see”.
The new CM and deputy CM, along with a few other ministers, will be sworn in at Bengaluru’s Kanteerava stadium on Saturday at 12:30pm.