Of politics and wheels: Reinventing rotation

A rotating chief ministership as a way to appease factions can work only if there is a credible guarantor

Aditi Phadnis
DK Shivakumar, Karnataka elections

D K Shivakumar | Photo: PTI

As the curtain came down on the leadership struggle in the Congress in Karnataka, culminating in Siddaramaiah becoming chief minister, there is still no clarity about whether he and his closest rival, D K Shivakumar, have actually agreed on a rotational deal over chief ministership.
Exactly why this “arrangement” is being kept such a closely guarded secret is a mystery. It is a perfectly normal power-sharing formula followed all over the world: In Israel, Malaysia, and even the fount of democracy, Britain, where in 1994, the unexpected death of John Smith, then leader of the Labour Party, led to a meeting between the two acknowledged bosses of the party: Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The two men agreed (it is thought, over dinner at a restaurant called Granita in London’s Islington, which is why the pact came to be known as the Granita Agreement) that Mr Brown would not stand in the Labour leadership elections to afford Mr Blair an easier victory
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: May 26 2023 | 10:19 PM IST

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