On Tuesday (May 16), Congress leader DK Shivakumar courted controversy after he claimed that a team of journalists was working for him to ensure the victory of the grand old party in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections.
He made the contentious remarks during an interview with journalist Nabila Jamil of India Today. At about 4 minutes and 16 seconds into the programme, DK Shivakumar was heard claiming that he single-handedly ensured the landslide victory of the Congress party in the Karnataka elections.
“There were three teams working for me, apart from my AICC team…A team of journalists, my own political supporters and for the other one, I have a system in place for the past 10 years,” the Congress leader inadvertently spilt the beans.
In his spontaneous flow of speech, DK Shivakumar revealed that he had several journalists on his payroll, who helped changed the public perception in favour of the Congress. And he did not seem to have been bothered by his own faux pas.
Despite ‘winning, he was not backed by his party for the post of Karnataka Chief Minister and had to settle for the position of Deputy CM. As per a report by The Economic Times, his Chief Ministerial bid was ignored by Congress for being perceived as a ‘devout Hindu’ in the public eye.
“Siddaramaiah, who comes from the left background, is seen as a strong ideological opponent of the RSS and the BJP. While Shivakumar has no affinity with any right-wing group, he is seen as a devout Hindu who often visits religious places and makes no effort to hide his religious inclination,” it emphasised.
The Economic Times claimed that such a decision by the Congress party was made in light of the religiously polarised environment of Karnataka. The newspaper emphasised that Congress threw its weight behind Siddaramiah in the hopes of keeping its ideological ‘non-Hindu’ inclinations intact and consolidating the Muslim vote bank.