Karnataka government formation: Congress secured a comfortable majority in the Karnataka Assembly elections, but the question is on everyone’s mind: 'Who will be the Chief Minister?' It seems that the grand old party is facing difficulty in choosing the Chief Minister of the State amid speculations of Siddaramaiah being the front-runner followed by state party president DK Shivakumar. The contest between two top leaders, Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, for the chief ministerial post had intensified with their supporters on Sunday putting up posters in support of their respective leaders.
However, the newly elected Congress MLAs in Karnataka authorised party president Mallikarjun Kharge to pick the next chief minister. The suspense over the new Karnataka chief minister intensified on Monday as state Congress president D K Shivakumar cancelled his visit to the national capital citing health issues after he and Siddaramaiah, both frontrunners for the top post, were called by the central leadership for discussions.
The three central observers, who interacted with party MLAs on their choice for the CM's post after the Congress Legislature Party meeting on Sunday, briefed party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and submitted their report, sources said. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar were called by the party high command for further discussion on government formation. Siddaramaiah arrived this afternoon in the national capital, but Shivakumar cancelled his visit, hours after confirming he would be flying to Delhi, fuelling speculation that the factional fighting in Karnataka Congress had reared its head again.
Shivakumar cited health reasons for the change in his travel plans. "I have some problem in the stomach. Doctor is coming in ten minutes. It's burning. It looks like some infection and I have a fever..... please let me be free...." he told reporters.