Even as Congress leader Siddaramaiah maintains that he is the leading contender for the chief minister’s post if Congress comes to power, the old horse of the party, Union minister for labour Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said the Congress would fight the elections under a collective leadership.
At a press conference, Kharge said the party high command would take appropriate decision at the right time to chose the CM candidate and it is better that the matter is left to them. When asked if he too is a contender for the post, Kharge said the party had honoured him with many posts and he did not have any demand. The party will not project any individual as the CM candidate before elections. Only after winning the elections the high command will take a call on the issue, he added.
“We are not in power for six years. First, we have to strengthen the party. Our efforts should be to bring the party back to power. All the leaders in Congress should fight elections unitedly,” Kharge maintained.
When asked about the leadership claims by senior leaders S Shivashankarappa and Siddaramaiah, he maintained that in democracy, the leaders get the right to demand posts. However, the focus is on winning the elections. Congress party had got 34.6% of vote share in the last state assembly elections. The BJP came to power even though the percentage of votes it had polled was 33.2%. He said that despite sympathy and caste factor, the BJP failed to get a major chunk of votes in the last election.
This time, with all their ‘achievements’, the BJP would be defeated in the next assembly elections and the Congress would come to power with a thumping majority, Kharge claimed.
Answering a question on a bunch of BJP leaders ready to join the Congress, Kharge said the Congress has a strong high command, which is not there in other political parties, and it is left to the discretion of the high command to take a call on them.
CM? Me? No comments
Union minister for labour Mallikarjun Kharge, though he is one of the strong contenders for the CM’s post in Karnataka if the Congress comes to power, did not drop any clues in the interaction programme regarding his chances of getting the top post. He ducked about a dozen questions about his return to state politics and becoming the CM candidate, that too at a time when there is a favourable situation in the state for the Congress.