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Karnataka: No CM face, Cong top brass tells Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah

Amid the one-upmanship between leader of the Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah and state Congress president D K Shivakumar, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday met both of them to bring about a truce. The high command made it clear that the party will not project a chief ministerial candidate for the 2023 Assembly elections and asked both of them to work unitedly and focus on winning the elections.

The meeting came at a time when the BJP in Karnataka is said to be thinking about replacing B S Yeddiyurappa as the Chief Minister. Sources in the Congress believe there could be turmoil in the BJP if Yeddiyurappa is shown the door. “He may not leave easily. We expect some trouble. Let’s see. We are keeping a close watch,” a senior AICC leader said.

Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have been at loggerheads and jostling for supremacy in the party. Both are eying the Chief Minister’s post. Gandhi, sources said, told them to work unitedly and not bother about the chief minister’s post since elections are still two years away. The focus, he told them, should be to win the elections. He asked them to sink their differences and not let small irritants come in the way of the functioning of the party.

Sources said both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar agreed. Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Siddharamaiah denied any rift in the party.

“Who is going to lead the party?….they are all sitting on this stage. You have Siddaramaiah, Mallikarjun Kharge and D K Shivakumar…and of course we have our young working president Dhruv Narayan…” he said.

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