Karnataka Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah fanned a wave of speculation on Sunday saying that he can leave the Chief Minister's post for a Dalit face.
Karnataka Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah fanned a wave of speculation on Sunday saying that he can leave the Chief Minister’s post for a Dalit face. His statement made political pundits wonder if Mallikarjun Kharge, a tall leader from the state who belongs to the Dalit community, could be the party’s pick to head the state if it manages to retain power in the results that are due to be declared on May 15. The statement also gained significance as most exit polls surveys have predicted a hung assembly in the state, putting HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal (S) in the position of a kingmaker. The JD(S), on the other hand, has reservations with Siddaramaiah holding the CM’s post owing to party’s bitter history with him.
Now, Mallikarjun Kharge, who was a CM probable in 2013, has responded to the speculations. Kharge has said that he will abide by whatever directions he receives from the party high command. He also said that issue has been fanned in the media to create a difference between him and Siddaramaiah. “This issue has been created in media to create differences between us. We are clear that high command will decide on it. It’s just a matter of 12 hours,” Kharge was quoted as saying by ANI on Monday.
Interestingly, unlike the BJP, the Congress has not declared its chief ministerial candidate for the elections. In another presser, Karge said that he has no plans to retire from politics for now and that he would accept any role assigned by the party central leadership.
“Let me see, everybody’s fate is in the hands of people, and people are our masters and even I believe people are our God in democracy,” said Kharge, who is also the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha. The 75-year-old former union minister, who hails from Kalaburagi, also indicated that he would contest the next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Kharge had lost out in the race for the CM’s post to Siddaramaiah in 2013. In a bid to attack the Congress, PM Narendra Modi had said in the course of the campaign that the party had sidelined the Dalit leader and chose Siddaramaiah to head the government in 2013.