K'taka Congress leaders meet to elect new leader

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Bangalore, May 28: Congress leaders today commenced individual meetings with the newly elected party members in Karnataka to seek their opinion on the new leader of the party in the 13th State Assembly.

AICC General Secretaries Prithviraj Chavan, also in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka, and Digvijay Singh, commenced the exercise this morning, even as there were several claimants to the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly. Prominent among them were Former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, one of the late entrants to the Congress from the Janata Dal (Secular), Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Mallikarjuna Kharge and former Ministers D K Shivakumar and V Somanna.

The Congress had won 80 seats in the elections, 15 more than what it had secured in 2004 though its share of votes had dropped to 34.59 per cent compared to 35.28 per cent in the previous elections.

The party had finished second in 116 constituencies and third in 26.

The Congress leaders, after taking the opinion of MLAs, would submit their report to the party high command to take a final decision. They would also present a comprehensive report on the failure of the party in the just-concluded elections.

UNI

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