Bengaluru, May 23 (IANS): Barely three days after the new government took over in Karnataka, the tussle over power-sharing between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his deputy D.K. Shivakumar has come to the fore. When asked about the row, Shivakumar on Tuesday curtly stated 'Don't disturb me'.
"Let people issue statements on whatever they think. I am not going to talk about it. The AICC will take care of the matters relating to the power and other issues. Our national leaders are there too to handle such issues. Our priority right now is for the overall development of the state," he said.
Shivakumar looked disturbed and maintained a distance from media persons.
Minister M.B. Patil on Monday night claimed that Siddaramaiah will complete the tenure of five years. "There is no talk about power-sharing and Siddaramaiah will be the CM for next five years", he stated stirring a controversy.
When his statements triggered speculation in political corridors, Patil on Tuesday said that he has not made any personal comments over the issue. "I have reiterated what senior leaders announced in the press conference," he said.
Sources said that Shivakumar is upset over the remarks and his media statement 'don't disturb me' was aimed at M.B. Patil.
When asked about power-sharing between Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar, AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal had remarked that the power was being given to the people of Karnataka. The high command has not given clarity about the issue so far.
The party seniors are unhappy about the development and feel that Patil's statement at this stage was unnecessary.
There was a cold war between Patil and Shivakumar when the former was inducted in Siddaramaiah-led Cabinet in 2013 and Shivakumar was kept out. Patil is equally resourceful as Shivakumar is and he is considered to be the blue-eyed boy of Siddaramaiah.
Patil and Siddaramaiah made a failed attempt to create a separate religion category for Lingayats in the 2018 Assembly elections. Shivakumar had tendered an unconditional apology to Lingayats repeatedly, much to the chagrin of Patil. Patil had then questioned Shivakumar on the apology stance.
M.B. Patil had attacked Shivakumar that he had destroyed Congress in south Karnataka. He had also called Shivakumar tainted and maintained that in the 2018 elections this could also have worked against the Congress party.
After the Patil's fresh salvo, Shivakumar has not reacted to any of his statements. However, sources explain that he is preparing a parallel Lingayat leadership against Patil. Various Lingayat groups have already objected to the preference given to Patil, who represents a small sub-caste over sub castes with larger population.
Priyank Kharge, a cabinet minister, while reacting over Patil's statement, explained that the statements on power-sharing by Patil are irrelevant. "No one knows the details of the discussion between them. It is known only to CM Siddaramaiah, DyCM D.K. Shivakumar, Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal," he said.
The legislature party meeting did not discuss power-sharing. "I don't know what information M.B. Patil has. I can tell what I know," he maintained.