New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) Amid suspense over the next Karnataka Chief Minister, state Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar on Wednesday held a meeting with his loyalist MLAS at his brother’s residence here and also with the state in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala.
His meeting with the party MLAs came after he held a detailed meeting with Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and senior party leader Rahul Gandhi at their residences earlier in the day.
Shivakumar, who is one of the contenders for the chief ministerial post in the state, first met Gandhi at 10 Janpath and the meeting lasted for over an hour.
After this, the Kanakapura MLA arrived at the residence of Kharge and their meeting lasted for over one and half hours.
He then went to the residence of his brother D.K. Suresh, a party MP and held meeting the party MLAS. However, it is yet not known what all Shivakumar discussed with them.
During the meeting, Congress MLAS Beluru Gopalkrishna, Virendra Pappi, H.C. Balakrishna, Ranganath, and Iqbal Hussain were present.
Subsequently surrounded by media, and asked if any discussion on the chief ministerial post took place at his meetings with Rahul Gandhi and Kharge, Shivakumar said: “Nothing, no discussion, only pranaam.”
To a question, if he will return to Bengaluru on Wednesday night, he said, “I dont know.”
Shivakumar then headed to Surjewala’s residence for a meeting with him.
Earlier in the day, speaking to media, Surjewala said: “Deliberations are currently underway by party President Mallikarjun Kharge. Whenever the party takes a decision, we will inform you. In the next 72 hours, there will be a new Cabinet in Karnataka.”
He also urged the media not to speculate or spread rumours and stay away from fake news.
“Don’t pay heed to fake information and rumours being spread by the BJP,” he said.
Targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Surjewala said the party takes around 10-15 days to decide on the chief ministerial post, “but here, the Congress President is holding deliberations to select the new chief minister”.
He also said that the next Congress government in Karnataka is committed to fulfilling the five guarantees it made to the people of the state.
“We will implement the five guarantees as promised by Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi,” he said.
He also said that the party will ensure there is no “40 per cent commission government” in the state.
The Congress President till now has not made any announcement regarding the new Chief Minister in Karnataka. However, it has been learnt that many people are in favour of Siddaramaiah for the top post.
Kharge is likely to make an announcement about the new Karnataka Chief Minister on Wednesday or Thursday after discussing the observers’ report with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Congress won 135 seats out of 224 in Karnataka whereas the BJP managed to win only 66.