K’taka Cong infighting: Kharge says not correct to stake claim to CM’s post

Reacting to news of infighting in the Karnataka Congress regarding the Chief Minister’s post, Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday said that it is not correct to discuss the Chief Ministerial candidate much before the 2023 Assembly elections, adding that the party high command will take the final decision on it.

Speaking to the media in Mysuru, Kharge added, “It is not correct to stake a claim for the Chief Minister’s post even before the forthcoming Assembly elections. The matter of who should be the Chief Minister won’t be decided in Mysuru, Bengaluru or Kalaburagi. The party high command will take a call on the matter.”

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar have staked claim for the post of Chief Minister many times.

Both the supporters of Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar have been claiming that their leader will become the Chief Minister if the Congress comes back to power.

This political development has brought the infighting within the Congress into the open and sources say that it will only become worse in the coming days as the elections inch closer. The Assembly elections are less than 10 months away.

Along with Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, a section of leaders within the Congress want Mallikarjun Kharge to become the Chief Minister if the Congress secures a majority.

Sources say that Kharge has said that the Chief Minister won’t be decided in Mysuru as Siddaramaiah hails from the latter place and Kalaburagi, referring to his native place.

“Not like that time or this time, Congress will always proceed with collective leadership,” he said.

“We have to bring the party back to power. That is our main objective,” he added.

Asked about when he will come back to state politics, Kharge said, “Let me see if everyone (Congress) decides to give me a chance.”

Congress leaders are elated after an internal survey showed that the party will come back to power in Karnataka with a comfortable majority.

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