State elections in Karnataka are over, and Congress has registered a comfortable win. But as usual, two of its most important state leaders have already started a power war for the Chief Minister post. A tried-and-tested solution is to share the CM post with the agreement that one person will be CM for some time and the next for the remainder. Siddaramaiah, the senior leader, has agreed to a two-year term out of five for himself if he gets the first chance. This seems to be a very mature solution, and at first glance, it appears that Siddaramaiah is ready for a ceasefire. But D. K. Shivakumar is not agreeing to this very amicable solution. He wants the CM post for himself.
What might be the reason for this stubbornness? The answer lies in the spanner that the BJP threw into the gears of the Karnataka Congress when they suddenly appointed present Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood as the CBI director. Praveen Sood is the policeman who is accused by D K Shivakumar of being a BJP stooge who registers cases only against Congress workers and turns a blind eye when any BJP workers are in trouble. Shivakumar has openly stated that once Congress comes to power, he will make sure that Sood is terminated from service and arrested. When PM Modi selected Sood as CBI director, it may appear that he was just protecting Sood from the ire of the ruling party.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The appointment of Sood is a plan to widen the rift within the Congress party and, if possible, arm-twist some of them to jump on the BJP bandwagon. I believe Siddaramaiah already started playing the BJP script unknowingly when he proposed the two-year CM plan. If Siddaramaiah gets to become CM, Shivakumar has every chance to end up on the gallows because there are already CBI cases against him, and Praveen Sood, who already has an axe to grind, will do everything in his power to make sure he is implicated.
It is only logical that Siddaramaiah will be happy to move Shivakumar out of his way and get to be CM for the full term. So Shivakumar realises that unless he gets to be the next CM, he is in trouble. As CM, if you are prosecuted by the CBI, there will definitely be some support from the party and workers. But if there is no power, no one is going to bother about his fate. Even High Command may feel that it is for good that he is out of the picture. One headache less for them. That is why he is fighting tooth and nail to get the CM post.
An option for the BJP if Siddaramaiah gets to become CM is that it can lure Shivakumar with promises to drop CBI cases if he joins them along with some MLAs loyal to him. In that case, the BJP will surely get JDS support too, because JDS is the real loser in this election. They were believed to be kingmakers. But now there is no value for them in Karnataka politics. In that case, with JDS and Shivakumar's support, the BJP may find it possible to eke out a majority and form a government like they did in Maharashtra.
What if Shivakumar gets to become CM? He will be plagued by CBI inquiries instigated by the BJP. Siddaramaiah may do everything to make governance hell for Shivakumar. I don't think Siddaramaiah may jump ship because there is a high chance that he may get the CM post very soon. Interesting developments are unfolding in Karnataka. Let's see how it finally ends up.