Karnataka: Congress may fight 2023 polls under dual leadership | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: In its bid to diffuse infighting in the Karnataka unit, the Congress high command is mulling fighting the 2023 assembly polls under the dual leadership of KPCC president DK Shivakumar and leader of opposition Siddaramaiah.
“The message is clear. If the two leaders fight for the chief ministerial post, then the possibility is that none of them will become the CM. First, they should focus on bringing the party to power and later, stake claim for chief ministership. What is the point in fighting for the CM’s chair, when it is not vacant?” said Ashwin Kumar, empanelled media member of Congress, echoing the views of senior party functionary KH Muniyappa.
The diktat came in the backdrop of reports of two camps led by the duo fighting to project their respective leaders as the CM candidate.
Shivakumar’s supporters are hoping that the top post will automatically go to their leader as he’s anointed as the KPCC president in March 2020. As Siddaramaiah has already had his chance of becoming the CM and Shivakumar being a leader of the politically dominant Vokkaliga community, his camp is arguing that the KPCC president is the best bet.
Given his image in the backdrop of the pending CBI cases against him, Siddaramaiah’s camp feels that chances of making Shivakumar CM candidate are remote. And the ignominious defeat in Sira and Rajarajeaswari Nagar in the recent bypolls have come as a major setback since both the seats are dominated by Vokkaligas to which the KPCC chief belongs. “If you go by election history, the ruling party has won a majority of bypolls. When our government was there, we won all bypolls. So don’t go by this,” Shivakumar said on Thursday.
While it was the election battle the Congress fought after Shivakumar took over as the party chief, the RR Nagar debacle is more debilitating since it is seen to be the bastion of DKS brothers as assembly segment comes under DK Suresh’s Lok Sabha constituency Bengaluru Rural, and the brothers could not ensure victory of their candidate, Kusuma H Shivakumar.
Armed with this list of negatives against Shivakumar, the Siddaramaiah camp is trying to pitchfork its leader to the fore. Siddaramaiah himself has dropped a hint as he said he would ensure scrapping of laws enacted by the BJP government, including farm laws and anti-cow slaughter ordinance if the Congress comes back to power. Hitch, however, is that the party has already lost under his leadership and he has lost grounds after the party’s defeat in the 2018 assembly polls.
Sources said Rahul Gandhi is likely to take over as AICC president again after the CWC elections to be held shortly and he would pitch for dual leadership for the 2023 elections.

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Sagar Biswas

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