Congress high command authorised to name Karnataka CM

Bangalore, May 10 (IANS) The Congress’s newly elected members of the Karntaka assembly Friday authorised their party high command to decide the chief minister, a senior party leader said here.

“All the legislators have left the matter to the party high command, which will take a decision soon,” senior Congress leader D.K. Shiva Kumar told reporters here after a three-hour long meeting of the 121 elected lawmakers with the party’s three central observers – A.K. Antony, Luizhnho Faleiro and Jitendra Singh.

Madhusudhan Mistry, in charge of the party’s state unit affairs, was also present at the meeting. Anyone whom the lawmakers elect as their legislative group leader become the chief minister as he commands the majority in the house.

The contenders are: Siddaramaiah, who was leader of opposition in the outgoing assembly; G. Parameshwara, who heads the party’s state unit; Mallikarjun Kharge, union labour and employment minister; R.V. Deshpande, former chief of the state Congress; and D.K. Shivakumar, former working president of the state unit.

Siddaramaiah, Deshpande and Shivakumar won the assembly elections held Sunday but Parameshwara lost. The party won the majority in the 225-member assembly to return to power on its own after nine years.

Asserting that there were no differences among the elected members and they were united on who should become the chief minister, Shiva Kumar said legislators had given their opinion to the observers in writing and left the decision to party president Sonia Gandhi and party’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

“All the legislators have expressed their opinion in writing to the observers in the form of secret ballot, authorising the party high command to decide. Later, a resolution was unanimously passed to leave the decision to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

The resolution was moved by senior party leader Siddaramaiah, who is the front-runner in the race for the coveted post.

“Siddaramaiah moved the one-line resolution and was backed by Roshan Baig, H.K. Patil, Deshpande and me,” Shiva Kumar added.

Earlier, the observers, who were deputed by the party high command to elicit the opinion of every legislator, rushed to the party office in the city centre for the marathon meetings and deliberations with the party’s state unit leaders.

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