Beyond Siddaramaiah Vs Shivakumar, New Claims For Karnataka CM Job Emerge From Lingayat, Dalit Communities

Swarajya News Staff

May 16, 2023, 03:44 PM | Updated 03:44 PM IST

D K Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah are both vying for the top political job in Karnataka
D K Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah are both vying for the top political job in Karnataka

Karnataka Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar are vying for the top political job in Karnataka; however, various caste groups, too, are now making claims for the chief minister's post.

The Lingayat community's All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha has entered the race for the top job, pointing out that 34 of the Congress' newly elected MLAs belong to the community.

Previously supporting the BJP, the Lingayats' vote shift was a factor in the Congress victory.

Dalit community supporters also demanded the appointment of G Parameshwara as the chief minister. Protestors waved placards saying "a Dalit should be CM" during a demonstration in Tumakuru.

The All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha told Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in a letter that out of the 46 community candidates fielded, 34 emerged victorious.

The Mahasabha includes prominent Lingayat leaders, led by 91-year-old Shamanuru Shivashankarappa — the oldest MLA, representing Karnataka's Davangere South constituency.

The letter added that the community also played a major role in electing other smaller communities in other 50 constituencies.

With 17 per cent of Karnataka's population, the Lingayat community can potentially impact results in almost 100 seats.

Political parties promoted Lingayat leaders to gain their support in the polls due to their electoral significance.

"Considering the above facts, we now urge the Congress party to give a chance/consider (a) Veerashaiva Lingayat community leader for the post of Chief Minister of Karnataka state," the letter said.

The group has also asked the Congress chief to ensure a fair allocation of cabinet positions for their community based on the number of their MLAs.

For now, only the two top Karnataka Congress leaders Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah are in the race, with no mention of a third name.

During their poll campaign, the Congress avoided projecting a single leader to take on the formidable election machinery of BJP.

This move has led to the current dilemma over the choice of a chief minister.

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