Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar to meet Sonia Gandhi over leadership row | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The clash between Congress state unit president DK Shivakumar and opposition leader Siddaramaiah over who will be the party’s face in the 2023 assembly elections has reached the high command in New Delhi.
They are scheduled to meet AICC president Sonia Gandhi and former president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday. Congress sources said party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may also be present.
Having won seven of ten urban local bodies in the recent polls, the party hopes to carry the momentum into local bodies and MLC (25 seats from panchayats) elections over the next 18 months before the 2023 assembly elections.
The one-upmanship between Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah with camp followers projecting them as the next chief minister is a problem. A third group is pitching for a Dalit chief minister with Mallikarjun Kharge and G Parameswara as leading contenders.
“The fight to be projected as chief ministerial candidate when elections are two years away is not just ridiculous but also hurts the party’s image. Some of us sought the high command’s intervention,” said senior Congress functionary and MLC BK Hariprasad.
The leadership may direct the two leaders to fight elections under one leader and restrain their supporters from making public statements.
However, both downplayed the issue, stating that the meeting is about organisational restructuring and appointment of office-bearers. “There’s no question of fighting for the chief minister’s post when we’re yet to get it. The meeting will discuss organisational issues,” said Shivakumar.
Siddaramaiah said: “Don’t read much into this. It’s a routine meeting where party affairs and political issues will be discussed.”
Shivakumar said AICC general Randeep Surjewala will visit Karnataka next week to hold meetings in Mysuru, Tumakuru, Mangaluru and Hubballi-Dharwad divisions.
Surjewala is reportedly seeking a change from being Karnataka in-charge due to hectic travel and other party responsibilities.

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Sagar Biswas

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