Dalits, Muslims and Lingayats want representation through Karnataka Deputy CM post | Azad Times

3 weeks ago 24
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Azad Times News Desk.

While Congress is yet to announce whether the next Karnataka Chief Minister will be Siddaramaiah or DK Shivakumar, Dalits, Lingayats, and Muslims are vying for the Deputy CM post.

In the midst of the intense race for the Chief Minister's post in Karnataka between former CM Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief DK Shivakumar, different caste groups are now seeking representation through the post of Deputy Chief Minister. Several influential communities within the state are asserting that their support was instrumental in securing Congress’s significant majority in the recently concluded Assembly elections and therefore, deserve prominent roles in the government.

The Veerashaiva-Lingayat leaders have been particularly vocal in their pursuit of the Deputy CM position. With 34 newly elected Congress MLAs, the Veershaiva-Lingayats argue that Congress’s prospects were hugely boosted by voters from their community, who were understood to have supported the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in large numbers over the last two decades. The All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha has officially submitted its bid for the top post, nominating former Minister MB Patil as the Deputy CM candidate representing the Lingayat community.

Similarly, Dalit groups have also thrown their hat into the ring, rallying behind veteran Congress leader G Parameshwara. His supporters staged a demonstration demanding his selection as the Deputy Chief Minister. Meanwhile, Muslim groups in Koppal district’s Gangavathi led agitations advocating for Congress leader BZ Zameer Ahmad Khan to be appointed to the coveted post.

However, it seems unlikely that multiple Deputy CMs from different communities will be appointed. Sources told TNM that DK Shivakumar, who is one of the two main contenders for the CM’s post, might be offered the position of a lone Deputy CM. This decision is aimed at avoiding power struggles and internal conflicts within the party, as placing DK Shivakumar on equal footing with other Deputy CMs could create a potential source of contention.

In a momentous electoral victory in Karnataka, Congress emerged triumphant, securing 135 out of 224 seats. However, the party now faces a dilemma as it must select between two influential figures, Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, for the top post. Siddaramaiah, a respected leader hailing from the Kuruba community, enjoys immense popularity, while DK Shivakumar, the party's state chief, has played a pivotal role in revitalising the party's prospects in Karnataka as a prominent Vokkaliga leader.

Read: Congress wins Karnataka elections with the biggest vote share seen in 34 years

Also read: Karnataka Congress secret ballot for MLAs wasn’t about choosing Siddaramaiah or DKS

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