DK Shivakumar is Karnataka Congress president
The Congress on Wednesday appointed the dynamic D.K. Shivakumar as the president of its Karnataka unit while handing the reins of the Delhi chapter to the relatively inexperienced and young Anil Chaudhary.
While Shivakumar’s appointment was widely hailed, the choice for Delhi shocked the majority of local leaders. Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah will remain the Congress legislature party leader and the leader of the Opposition in the state. The post of state Congress chief had been lying vacant since the resignation of Dinesh Gundu Rao in December.
The 57-year-old Shivakumar, who has established himself as a valiant fighter and trouble-shooter for the Congress, became a heavyweight in the party by defeating former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and his son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.
Shivakumar, one of the richest politicians in the state, had been arrested last year in connection with a disproportionate assets case. He obtained bail in October.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi also appointed three vice-presidents for Karnataka, where the BJP returned to power in July last year by toppling the Congress-JDS government. The new appointees are Eashwar Khandre, Satish Jarkiholi and Saleem Ahammed.
For Delhi, five vice-presidents have been appointed: Abhishek Dutt, Jaikishan, Mudit Agarwal, Ali Hassan and Shivani Chopra.
Chaudhary, the new Delhi Congress chief and former MLA, will have to work hard to win the confidence of seniors who are unhappy with the choice. The majority of the senior leaders feel that a wrong choice has been made and that this is not a mature way of grooming a new leadership.