Amid rising speculation over the next chief minister of Karnataka, state Congress chief DK Shivakumar on Sunday said that he had “sacrificed several times” for the party.
Shivakumar, head of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, made the statements after visiting the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur, a religious site for the Lingayat minority that was instrumental in the Congress’ victory.
“Some people say that I have differences with Siddaramaiah, but I want to clarify that there is no difference between us. Many times I have sacrificed for the party and stood with Siddaramaiah ji. I have given cooperation to Siddaramaiah,” Shivakumar said.
A day after the Congress romped to victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections, Shivakumar hinted that he is in the chief ministerial race saying he took everyone along and never sought anything for himself.
He also dismissed reports regarding conflicts with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
According to Shivakumar, the Congress and the Legislative Party will choose Karnataka’s next chief minister.
On the question of whether those who toiled should be given preference over those who are liked by the people, Shivakumar said that when Siddaramaiah and Dinesh Gundu Rao resigned as Congress Legislature Party president and head of the state unit, respectively, following the party’s rout in the 2019 by-elections, Congress national president Sonia Gandhi reposed faith in him and appointed him president.
Shivakumar reportedly recalled Gandhi visiting him in jail to convey her support when he was imprisoned in a money laundering case.
“I had not done anything wrong for myself. Whatever I did was for the party. All my sufferings were for the party,” he asserted.
The Congress state chief, who won the Assembly election on Saturday from Kanakapura, said he had toiled day and night while taking everyone along.
“Everyone was saying that there are differences between me and Siddaramaiah but let me tell you not a single iota of difference is there. I did not give anyone a chance. I just kept myself grounded and walked my path,” Shivakumar added.
The Congress won the Karnataka Assembly elections with a thumping majority by winning 135 out of 224 seats whereas the ruling BJP could garner only 66 seats.