Congress on Thursday declared veteran party leader Siddaramaiah as the Chief Minister of Karnataka and state unit chief D.K Shivakumar his only deputy after three days of consultations.
Addressing a press conference here at the party headquarters here, General Secretary (Organisation) K.C. Venugopal along with Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala thanked the people of Karnataka for the "spectacular victory in favour of Congress".
"This election was clearly between the poor versus rich in Karnataka. Entire poor people and middle class people stood with Congress. Our leadership, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others worked very hard to make this victory happen," he said.
Venugopal said that Kharge spent one month in Karnataka to monitor the election whereas Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi extensively toured the state.
"We want to thank them for the same. Even UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's advice and presence in the campaign strengthened our prospects and electrified our cadres. There is no word to thank her," he said.
Venugopal said, "Kharge had serious consultation with senior leaders and one to one discussion with Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar and we all were part of the discussion and he took views of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. Finally, Kharge took a decision on the Karnataka CM issue."
"He conveyed to me to announce his decision to the media and people of Karnataka.
"He (Congress president Kharge) decided to make Siddaramaiah as the CM of Karnataka. Siddaramaiah will be the CM of Karnataka. D.K. Shivakumar will be the only one Deputy CM of Karnataka and he will continue as KPCC president till Parliament elections are over," he announced.
He said that the swearing-in ceremony will take place on May 20.
Venugopal also said that on May 13 results of polling were announced and on May 14, we had a CLP meeting, three observers were there for the CLP meeting.
"On the night of May 14 and morning of May 15 they held a one to one meeting with MLAs. Then the observers submitted their report with the party chief," he said.
Venugopal said, "We believe in consensus and not dictatorship. For the last three days we were working for consensus and there have been a group of senior leaders. Siddaramaiah is our senior leader and he contributed a lot for Congress. Tirelessly he worked for the party though the state.
He even hailed D.K. Shivakumar was a dynamic leader and said that he electrified the cadre of the party. Wherever there was a gap he reached there and filled the gap. Both are big assets of Karnataka.
Everyone has their own wish and desire to become the CM, which is nothing wrong, he said.
Venugopal also said that the party will be sending invitations to all the opposition leaders for the swearing-in ceremony.
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