New Delhi, May 18 (IANS): After three days of regular meetings, the Congress finally ended the suspense and decided to announce party veteran leader Siddaramaiah as the next Karnataka Chief Minister and its state unit chief D.K. Shivakumar as his deputy.
According to party sources, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge after several round of meetings with the senior party leaders and the two Karnataka leaders finally came to a conclusion that Opposition Leader of outgoing Assembly Siddaramaiah will be the next new Chief Minister of the southern state and Shivakumar as the state’s deputy Chief Minister.
The announcement will be made on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting in Bengaluru.
The party source said that the swearing-in ceremony will take place on May 20 afternoon in Bengaluru.
The Congress was facing a major challenge as both veteran leaders — Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar were vying for the top post in the state.
On Monday, the three central observers had submitted the report of CLP meeting and their voting through the secret ballot with Kharge.
After several rounds of meeting senior leaders, Kharge finally on intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday finalised the name of Siddaramaiah as the next Karnataka Chief Minister.
Kharge, 81, had held discussion with former party chief Rahul Gandhi, party general secretary K.C. Venugopal and party Karnataka unit in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, besides the two Karnataka leaders since Monday afternoon.
The Congress had won 135 out of 224 seats in the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly polls whereas the ruling BJP was reduced to 66 and the JD-S to 19 seats.