Congress legislators meet to choose new Karnataka CM

Bangalore, May 10 (IANS) Karnataka’s newly elected Congress lawmakers Monday met here in the presence of the party’s central observers to select the state’s new chief minister for which there are at least five contenders.

The Congress observers team, led by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, will ascertain from the 121 newly elected legislators their choice to lead the government.

The contenders are Siddaramaiah, who was leader of the opposition in the outgoing assembly; G. Parameshwara, head of 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.

A decision on who the legislators have chosen is expected to be announced after the Antony-led team briefs Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who will take the final decision.

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