Siddaramaiah will be the next Chief Minister of Karnataka and DK Shivakumar his deputy, the Congress announced on Thursday, ending five days of suspense after the party’s emphatic election win. They will take oath on Saturday.
The decision was announced after days of internal wrangling, with both contenders pushing for the top job.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala dodged a question whether the five-year term will be split among them, saying, “Power-sharing means sharing power with the people of Karnataka, nothing else.”
Both leaders expressed their commitment to work together. “Karnataka’s secure future and our people’s welfare is our top priority, and we are united in guaranteeing that,” tweeted Shivakumar. Siddaramaiah said, “Our hands will always be united to protect the interests of Kannadigas. The Congress party will work as a family.”
Sources close to Shivakumar said that he had accepted the Number 2 position, and keeping his job as the party’s state unit chief, following an intervention by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The sources said the veteran leader had agreed to make the “sacrifice in the interest of the party”.