What happens if Congress cannot pick a Karnataka CM? Why is it taking so long?

Sushim Mukul
Sushim MukulMay 16, 2023 | 13:43

What happens if Congress cannot pick a Karnataka CM? Why is it taking so long?

State congress chief Shivakumar and former CM Siddaramaiah are in the race to be the next CM. (Photo Credit: AP)

Congress registered a comfortable win over the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently concluded Karnataka assembly elections, securing 135 out of 224 seats.

Following the win, DK Shivakumar, the Karnataka Congress chief and former state CM Siddaramaiah are seen to be competing with each other for the post of the Chief Minister,

The attention is on the party's high command now to name the next CM after the newly elected MLAs met in Bengaluru on March 14, followed by a ''secret ballot" and in-person meetings with the two. Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, who is in constant touch with the Gandhi Family is expected to declare the name of the next CM.


Why is it taking so long to name the CM?

Regarding the selection of the next CM, a lot of discussions and deliberations are at play owing to the following reasons:

  • While Siddaramaiah has put forward a solution of having him the CM for a duration of two-and-a half years and Shivakumar for the rest of the tenure, Shivakumar is in no mood to concede and is adamant.
  • Slogans and poster wars from both camps have intensified along with Shivakumar on Monday saying his strength is 135, as under his presidency in the state the party won the seats.
  • Shivakumar's stand could be attributed to the recent transfer of Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood to the post of CBI Director. In the past Shivakumar and Sood had been vocal about each other. In the case of the CBI reopening cases against Shivakumar, him being the CM could garner some help from the party and supporters.
  • Siddaramaiah, having successfully governed and completed a five-year term as the CM (2013-2018) is a respected leader across sections. He seems to be a natural choice for the party's high command. In contrast, Shivakumar is known for his organizational skills and has been a trusted trouble-shooter for the Congress party, enjoying significant support from the Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities.

What does the constitution say?

The Indian constitution does not mandate any procedure to be followed by the Governor in case the largest party fails to form a government. However, by convention, the Governor will invite the leader of the second-largest party (BJP) to form a government and prove its majority in the assembly, like in Goa (2019) and Manipur (2022).

Last updated: May 16, 2023 | 13:43
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