Under my leadership, Congress got 135 seats, says DK Shivakumar
BENGALURU: As Congress is mulling over its chief ministerial choice after getting a thumping majority in Karnataka Assembly elections, party state president DK Shivakumar, an aspirant for the top post on Monday said that it is under his leadership that Congress got 135 seats in the state.
Addressing the mediapersons here, Shivakumar said, "It is my birthday today, I will meet my family. Afterwards, I will leave for Delhi. Under my leadership, we have 135 MLAs, all in one voice, said that the matter (to appoint CM) is to be left to the party's high command. My aim was to deliver Karnataka and I did it."
"Congress high command called me and Siddaramaiah to Delhi. Sonia Gandhi, Kharge had given me the post of president. 135 seats have come under my presidency. When all MLAs left our party and we lost our government, I did not lose hope. I do not want to disclose what has happened in the last 5 years," the Karnataka Congress chief added.
"I'm a single man, I believe in one thing that a single man with courage becomes a majority...When all our MLAs left the party (2019 JD(S)-Cong coalition govt), I didn't lose my heart," Shivakumar said before heading to Delhi for Karnataka CM talks.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Siddaramaiah has already arrived in Delhi on Monday to meet the top Congress leadership as the party engaged in the process of picking the next Karnataka CM.
Three central observers appointed by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in Karnataka, arrived in Delhi on Monday to present their report to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on the question of appointing the chief minister of the State.
The observers Sushil Kumar Shinde, Deepak Bawaria and Bhanwar Jitendra Singh were tasked with speaking to newly elected Congress MLAs on the election of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader in Karnataka and subsequently to submit their report to the party's high command.
The three observers were appointed by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday.
Jitendra Singh, said, "We have taken the views from all the MLAs, the meeting went on till 2 am (this morning). We have prepared a report and will submit it to the Congress president."
Congress leader BK Hariprasad said that in yesterday's CLP meeting, the voting was conducted through a secret ballot.
Earlier on Sunday late at night, Congress leader and All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Karnataka, Randeep Singh Surjewala, said that party chief Mallikarjun Kharge will not take long and announce the name of the next chief minister of Karnataka soon.
The meeting was convened after Congress Legislature Party (CLP) unanimously passed a resolution authorising party president Mallikarjun Kharge to pick the name of the Karnataka Chief Minister.
The meeting which began late on Sunday night at a hotel in Bengaluru, continued till 1.30 am. It was attended by all 135 newly elected MLAs.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and party leaders Jitendra Singh and Deepak Babaria were present in the meeting as observers. Party leaders like Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, KC Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh and others also attended the meeting.
A huge number of supporters gathered outside the residence of Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar in Bengaluru on Sunday and raised slogans of 'We want DK Shivakumar as CM'.
Congress, which registered an emphatic victory defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in results of the May 10 Karnataka Assembly elections released on Saturday, had been facing the challenge of deciding the chief minister amid speculations of Siddaramaiah being the front-runner followed by state party president DK Shivakumar.
According to the Election Commission of India, Congress won 135 seats pushing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power in the only southern state it ruled and boosting its own prospects for the electoral battles ahead.
BJP managed to win 66 seats. Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) bagged 19 seats.
Independents have won two seats while Kalyana Rajya Pragathi Paksha and Sarvodaya Karnataka Paksha won one seat each.