Kharge likely to be Leader of Opposition in K'taka Assembly

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Bangalore, May 28 (UNI) Senior Congress leader and KPCC president Mallikarjun Kharge, who made it to the Karnataka Assembly for a record ninth time in a row, will in all probability be Leader of the Opposition in the newly constituted state Assembly.

Mr Kharge was elected as the leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) in Karnataka today.

An advocate by profession, Mr Kharge has not looked back after winning the 1972 election from Gurmitkal. He had served as minister under various Chief Ministers including Devaraj Urs, Gundu Rao, Veerappa Moily, S Bangarappa, Veerendra Patil, S M Krishna and N Dharam Singh.

Though he changed his constituency to Chithapur after the delimitation exercise, it did not affect his popularity as was evident from his victory in the just-concluded Assembly elections.

Mr Kharge, who had also served as Deputy Leader in the Karnataka Assembly during 1986 to 1989 when Ramakrishna Hegde was the Chief Minister. He was the Leader of the Opposition during 1996-1999 when J H Patel was the Chief Minister.

He had handled various portfolios including Home, Revenue, Industries, Rural Development, Education, Irrigation and also served as the Leader of the House in the Karnataka Legislative Council for over 20 months when N Dharam Singh was the Chief Minister.

Talking to UNI, Mr Kharge expressed gratitude to the party Legislators and party high command for reposing faith in him and electing him as the new Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader.

''The Congress will function as a constructive Opposition in the Assembly,'' he said.

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