Congress will respond appropriately to ministers pushing for 3 more Dy CMs in Karnataka: Shivakumar

Mangaluru: Seemingly expressing his displeasure against ministers demanding three more deputy chief minister posts in Karnataka, state Congress President D K Shivakumar on Tuesday said the party would respond to them appropriately. Currently, Shivakumar from the Vokkaliga community is the only DCM in the Siddaramaiah-led cabinet.

Some of the ministers in the cabinet have been pitching for DCM posts to be given to leaders from Veerashaiva-Lingayat, SC/ST and minority communities.
"You people (media) put in news if someone says something. Why should I say no to people who are happy (by appearing in news) ... Let anyone make any demand, the party will respond to them appropriately. Simple," Shivakumar told reporters here in response to a question.
Asked whether there is a plan in the party to have more deputy chief ministers, he said, "You please meet Mallikarjun Kharge (AICC president) and our in-charge general secretary or ask the chief minister."
A section within the Congress is said to be of the opinion that the statement by ministers seeking three more DCM posts was part of a plan by Siddaramaiah's camp to keep Shivakumar in check, amid talks that he might seek the CM post after two-and-a-half years of this government's tenure, and to counter his influence both in the government and the party.
The ministers -- Co-Operation Minister K N Rajanna, Housing Minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, Public Works Minister Satish Jarkiholi and few others -- who have pitched for three more DCMs are considered close to Siddaramaiah.
The Congress had decided that Shivakumar will be the only deputy CM amid stiff competition between him and Siddaramaiah for the chief minister's post after the assembly election results in May last year.
It was also said to be a "commitment" made by the Congress leadership to Shivakumar while convincing him to give up his claim for the CM post and to take up the role of deputy chief minister.
Asked whether he or his brother and former MP D K Suresh would contest in the assembly bypolls from Channapatna, Shivakumar, who has recently been making repeated visits to the segment, did not want to give any direct response but indicated that he may contest.
"My brother is not interested, as people have decided to give Suresh a rest (through defeat in Lok Sabha polls), but there is a desire to work for the party, as people there (Channapatna) have trusted us and given us (Congress) about 85,000 votes (in Lok Sabha polls. We have to save them," he said.
People have given Congress power in the state by giving 136 seats (including independents), he said. "We have to save the people there (in Channapatna). Nothing has happened there, despite big people having enjoyed power from there, people have a feeling that nothing has been done for them. So, we want to do something. Earlier too we have done our bit. When I was the minister, a part of Channapatna was under my constituency earlier. It is the right time to serve the people and the poor there."
The Channapatna bypoll is being held because the seat fell vacant following the election of its representative, JD(S) leader and now Union Minister H D Kumaraswamy, to the Lok Sabha in the recent elections.
The byelection schedule for this assembly seat is yet to be announced by the Election Commission.
Though there were talks earlier that Suresh, who lost from Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha segment, may be fielded in Channapatna, speculations are now rife in political circles, especially the grand old party, that Shivakumar may enter the fray to avenge his brother's defeat and to re-establish his clout in the region.
According to sources, if Shivakumar contests and wins from Channapatna, he may vacate the Kanakapura assembly seat that he currently represents for Suresh to contest from.
Both Channapatna and Kanakapura are part of the Vokkaliga-dominated Ramanagara district, which comes under the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha segment from where Kumaraswamy's brother-in-law and eminent cardiologist C N Manjunath won as a BJP candidate as part of an arrangement between alliance partners BJP and JD(S). Manjunath defeated Suresh.
Reacting to Kumaraswamy's statement that Shivakumar who did nothing for Channapatna so far but was now visiting the constituency, the DCM asked, "How does he (Kumaraswamy) know that I have done nothing for Channapatna?
"Before Kumaraswamy saw Channapatna, I had seen it. He came to politics very late. He came 10 years after I entered politics. I came in 1985 and had contested against his father (former prime minister H D Deve Gowda) in the assembly polls. Kumaraswamy came in 1995 or 96 and contested for Parliament. I'm from that district," he added.
( Source : PTI )
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