After the Congress' massive victory in Karnataka, the grand old party now seems split on the choice of the next chief minister. Sources say there are internal divisions within the core leadership of the Congress party, including within the Gandhi family. According to sources, Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Vadra are not on the same page on who should take over as chief minister of Karnataka -- with Rahul supposedly weighing in in favour of Siddaramaiah and Priyanka favouring DK Shivakumar.
DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah have both been very public about their aspiration of becoming chief minister. While Siddaramaiah, who has already served as Karnataka CM, has said that he will be retiring from electoral politics in the next five years, DK Shivakumar has been one of the key figures behind the Karnataka Congress' resurgence.
Meanwhile, the controversy over the selection of the next Chief Minister has reached the streets. On Sunday, several supporters of Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar were seen putting up posters in support of their respective leaders, clearly showing that there is no clarity among the Congress party as to who will take charge of the state.
The Congress party is set to hold a key meeting of the legislature party at 5:30 PM today where it will decide the name of the new Karnataka CM. "The first meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) has been called for tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.," said Randeep Singh Surjewala, AICC in-charge of Karnataka, during a press conference today.
Congress registered a landslide victory in the Karnataka assembly elections by gaining the biggest vote share and seats after a whopping 34 years. It is worth noting that this election was the biggest victory for "any party in Karnataka" since 1989, during Veerendra Patil's regime when the Congress had won 178 seats with a vote share of 43.76 per cent. Congress marked its victory with 136 seats, while the BJP remained in second place with 65 seats and JD(S) stood in third place with only 19 seats.