The feuding factions of the Karnataka state Congress unit have finally reached an accord after state Congress Chief DK Shivakumar reluctantly agreed to take up the Deputy Chief Minister's role following former party president Sonia Gandhi's intervention, sources claimed.
The Congress top brass has chosen Siddaraiamah for the Chief Minister post over Shivakumar, with sources close to him saying he decided to make the "sacrifice" in the interestss of the party.
"We left it to the high command, they decide. It is the party's interest over personal interest. I have to accept the high command's decision," Shivakumar later told NDTV in an exclusive interview. "It is a verdict. Lot of us will be arguing in court. Ultimately, what the judge said, has to be accepted."
Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar attended the legislature party meeting where the formal election took place. They have also met Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot and staked their claim to form the government. The oath ceremony will take place at 12.30 PM on May 20.
Sources said there is a rough understanding of a 50:50 power sharing, under which Shivakumar can succeed Siddaramaiah in the top post halfway through the term. This agreement would depend on the Congress' performance in the 2024 national elections, with 28 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs in Karnataka.
The Congress had been struggling to get Shivakumar on board with the idea of a second term for Siddaramaiah, who reportedly has the support of most MLAs, as CM.
Both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar had met Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Party General Secretary KC Venugopal yesterday - presenting their cases as contenders for the Chief Minister post.
The Congress won a clear majority in last week's assembly elections, finishing with 135 seats in the 224-member assembly. The BJP won 66 seats with a 36 per cent vote share, and HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular won 19 seats with a vote share of 13.29 per cent.