A section of dalit leaders in the Congress were reportedly clamouring to be made the CM from one among them.
As Congress and JDS leaders in Karnataka made hectic efforts to mollify its rebel legislators and save the coalition government, a BJP MP Saturday said he would be the happiest person if arch-rival Mallikarjun Kharge is made Chief Minister. “I will welcome it. If a Dalit becomes chief minister, I will be the happiest person,” said BJP MP Umesh Jadhav who defeated Kharge in the Lok Sabha election from Gulbarga.
His statement comes against the backdrop of the political imbroglio in the State following the resignation of 16 disgruntled coalition MLAs and speculation that some of them want somebody else as chief minister other than H D Kumaraswamy to resolve the crisis. A section of dalit leaders in the Congress was reportedly clamouring to be made the CM from one among them. The BJP MP also maintained that it was not he but the people of Gulbarga who defeated Kharge. Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had recently lashed out at the BJP for not inducting a Dalit MP from Karnataka in the Union Cabinet, saying “upliftment” of the community will not happen just by “talking big.”
Retaliating, the Karnataka BJP had asked him to make veteran party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who lost in the Lok Sabha polls, the Chief Minister,if he really cared for Dalits. People are also aware that it was Siddaramaiah who prevented G Parameshwara (now Deputy Chief Minister) from becoming the Chief Minister as he was a Dalit, the party alleged. Asked about the current political developments in Karnataka, Jadhav told reporters at Kempegowda International Airport where he has come for the admission of his son at a college and expressed ignorance about the political uncertainty.
The MP said he was focusing only on the development of Gulbarga from where he got elected. Jadhav was the first disgruntled Congress MLA to quit the party and join the BJP. As a Congress MLA, he had aligned with rebel Congress MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli and B Nagendra. The Congress had even sought their disqualification for ignoring the party whip to attend the budget session but Jadhav resigned from the party, joined BJP, contested the Lok Sabha election and defeated Kharge.