While DK Shiva Kumar, the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, is touring Telangana for the election campaign, the infighting among the Congress leaders is reaching new heights. Satish Jarkiholi, a minister in the Karnataka government, is conspiring against DK Shiva Kumar allegedly for his interference in Belagavi, Jarkiholi’s district.
Amid the high decibel campaign of the Congress leaders in Telangana touting the Karnataka model, their government is on the verge of collapse in Karnataka. The dissidence is such that the high command has to send two senior leaders as observers to calm down the factions.
The eye of the storm is the interference of Shiva Kumar in Belagavi, a district considered to be a bastion of the Jarkiholi brothers. Shiva Kumar’s aide Laxmi Hebbalkar’s dominance in Belagavi has irked Jarkiholi. And he has decided to organise a show of strength with his camp of 20 MLAs in Mysuru during the Dasara celebrations. However, the high command intervened and stopped Jarkiholi. But, Shiva Kumar went to the celebrations without taking the Jarkiholi camp MLAs along.
For the last few weeks, several Congress MLAs belonging to both the CM and deputy CM camps have been talking about the change of the CM and the cabinet reshuffle. These political developments have further intensified the power tussle between the two camps. Jarikiholi is said to be the loyalist of CM Siddaramaiah, and whenever the discussion about the change of guard arrives, the CM’s faction has been challenging the succession of DK Shiva Kumar as the next CM.
The facade of unity displayed by the Congress leaders during the Karnataka elections seems to be short-lived. Not even six months after they are elected to power, the Congress leaders are already grappling for the CM post and the ongoing battle has a potential to topple the Karnataka government.