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Rahul Gandhi called me and asked to work together: K'taka Dy CM designate Shivakumar
Rahul Gandhi called me and asked to work together: K'taka Dy CM designate Shivakumar

New Delhi, May 18 : Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar, who was announced as the next Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka by the party, on Thursday said that former party chief Rahul Gandhi called him and asked to work together.

He made the remarks after his name was announced as the only Dy CM of Karnataka by party leadership. The Congress announced Siddaramaiah as the new chief minister of the southern state. The swearing-in ceremony will take place on May 20 in Bengaluru.  Shivakumar, who had been camping in the national capital since Tuesday, had met party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and several other leaders.  The decision of party was announced after a series of meeting between the senior leaders.

His meeting with Rahul Gandhi came shortly after Siddaramaiah, former Karnataka Chief Minister met him too at his residence here.  The meeting of two leaders with Rahul Gandhi came a day after they met Kharge separately in the national capital on Tuesday evening.  Even as Shivakumar is pitching for his candidature for the top post in the state, it is learnt that to convince the Kanakpura MLA (Shivakumar), a formula has been given to him.  The party source said as per the proposal, Shivakumar has been given the choice that most of the ministers in state cabinet will be from his faction.  The source also said that, giving the option of two deputy chief ministers has also been proposed.  It is learnt that Shivakumar has been told that either he or another MLA from his camp can be selected for the role of the deputy chief minister in the southern state.  The source also indicated that this current formula will work till 2024 and his work and dedication towards the party will not be forgotten and thus he has been asked to give a good result in the next year assembly elections.  The source further said that after Lok Sabha elections, a decision will be taken as per the election results and even then his work in the state will be considered.  However, senior leaders remained tight-lipped on the developments. 

The Congress president, for the last two days, has been holding a series of meetings with the party observers - party general secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal, state in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala. Even Kharge along with Venugopal and Surjewala had also held meeting with Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the report of the CLP meeting that took place on Sunday evening in Bengaluru.  The Congress president has till now not made any announcement for the new chief minister in Karnataka. However, it is learnt that many people are in favour of Siddaramaiah for the top post.  Even the vote of the secret ballot of CLP meeting has not been announced. 

Shivakumar had arrived on Tuesday afternoon in Delhi after cancelling his Monday trip due to stomach infection. Siddaramaiah had arrived in the national capital on Monday afternoon.  According to party sources, Kharge is likely to make an announcement on the new Karnataka chief minister on Wednesday after discussing the observers report with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.  Veteran leader Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar are vying for the top post.  Congress had won 135 seats in Karnataka whereas ruling BJP managed to win only 66 while the JD-S, which was hoping to play the role of kingmaker, was reduced to 19 seats in the state.

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