On May 17, Congess leader Randeep Surjewala said that a decision on the next Karnataka chief minister will be announced on May 17 or May 18 and a new cabinet will be in place within 72 hours.
He also dismissed speculative reports that Siddaramaiah was likely to be named the chief minister once again.
“Delibrations are currently underway by party president Mallikarjun Kharge. Whenever Congress makes a decision we will inform you. In the next 48-72 hours, we will have a new cabinet in Karnataka,” he told reporters here.
The Congress leader said that consultations are still on and urged media to not report on speculation or heed to fake information.
Four days since Congress registered an emphatic victory in the Assembly polls by wresting power from the Bharatiya Janata Party, still, the State is yet to get a Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, supporters of Siddaramaiah were seen bursting firecrackers in Bengaluru.
Also, police officials were seen inspecting the Sri Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium in Bengaluru where the swearing-in ceremony of the new Karnataka government is likely to be held.
Earlier in the day, Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar both met Rahul Gandhi at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s residence, in the national capital.
Besides this, Karnataka Congress working president Eshwar Khandare and other MLAs arrived at the party president Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence in the national capital for meetings in connection with picking the next Chief Minister of the State.
Khandare had asserted that the suspense over the decision of the next Chief Minister of the State would likely end by this evening.
“I met the party’s national president Mallikarjun Kharge and discussed the recent developments in Karnataka…Only high command will decide, we are 100 per cent united. Decision maybe by today evening,” Khandare had told reporters here.
On May 16, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge held meetings with both potential candidates D K Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah in New Delhi.
Siddaramaiah had arrived at Kharge’s residence along with his son Yatindra and MLAs Zameer Ahmad, Bhyrati Suresh, and senior leader KJ George.
Rahul Gandhi on May 16 met party president Mallikarjun Kharge who went through the Congress central observers’ report, which was submitted on May 15.
Three central observers appointed by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in Karnataka, arrived in Delhi on May 15 to present their report to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on the appointment of the Karnataka chief minister.
The observers Sushil Kumar Shinde, Deepak Bawaria and Bhanwar Jitendra Singh were tasked with speaking to newly elected Congress MLAs on the election of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader in Karnataka and subsequently to submit their report to the party’s high command.
The Congress legislative party had met late evening on Sunday in Bengaluru and passed a one-line resolution empowering Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge to pick the head of the legislative party.
The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka after winning the May 10 assembly election. It won 135 seats in the 224-member Karnataka assembly.
(with inputs from ANI)