New Delhi, May 14
In the midst of suspense over who would be the next Chief Minister of Karnataka, a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Sunday passed a resolution unanimously authorising party president Mallikarjun Kharge to name the occupant of the coveted post.
Editorial: Karnataka mandate
The name is expected to be announced on Monday, with party sources saying frontrunners ex-Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief DK Shivakumar have been called to the Capital on Monday to meet Kharge and Rahul Gandhi before the final decision is declared.
Shivakumar, Siddaramaiah frontrunners
- Supporters of ex-Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state party president Shivakumar gather outside the hotel in Bengaluru, raise slogans
- Congress mulling multiple formulas, including Dy CM’s post, to dispel any rebellion
- Siddaramaiah, 75, may be picked finally as Shivakumar, 60, has age on his side
- His campaign line “this is my last election” clicked in state
- Has been CM in the past, and only one apart from Cong’s late Devraj Urs for full term
The sources said Siddaramaiah, 75, may finally be picked as Shivakumar, 60, has age on his side. Siddaramaiah’s “this is my last election” campaign line also clicked in the state. Further, he has been a CM in the past and the only one apart from Congress’ late Devraj Urs to complete a full five-year term.
The Congress is also mulling other formulas, including having a Deputy CM, to placate a potential rebellion. The CLP meeting was held in Bengaluru in the presence of three central observers appointed by Kharge — Sushilkumar Shinde (former Maharashtra CM), Jitendra Singh (AICC general secretary) and Deepak Barbaria (former general secretary). It passed a one-line resolution, moved by Siddaramaiah and endorsed by Shivakumar and other leaders at the meeting, authorising Kharge to name the new CM.
AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala also took part in the meeting of the 135 newly elected Congress MLAs convened to choose the CLP leader.Venugopal said the central observers would meet all MLAs tonight for their opinion on the new CM. They will submit a report to Kharge in Delhi tomorrow. Meanwhile, one independent MLA today extended unconditional support to the Congress in Karnataka.
Visuals beamed from Bengaluru of the CLP meeting also showed Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh present. Kharge, who met Siddaramaiah and others in Bengaluru, later returned to Delhi. The Congress has won 135 seats in a House of 224 members while the BJP could only win 66 seats.
Supporters of both Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar raised slogans outside the CLP meeting venue wherein two resolutions were passed. The second thanked 6.5 crore Kannadigas for reposing faith in the Congress. The swearing-in ceremony is likely on May 18, though sources said the new CM would take the final call on the schedule.
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