Siddaramaiah may overcome outsider tag to be Karnataka CM

Bangalore, May 10: Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah appears to be emerging as the frontrunner for the chief minister's post in Karnataka but there are some hiccups.

After the observers committee formed by the AICC held meetings with the newly-elected 121 MLAs this morning, the observers were to leave for Delhi.

But later the party decided to go for secret ballot. This means that there is stiff opposition to Siddaramaiah, possibly by DK Shivakumar. Till late yesterday, the race had narrowed down between Siddaramaiah and union minister and party veteran M Mallikarjuna Kharge.

The committee headed by Union ministers AK Antony and Veerappa Moily, Luciyano Felero and Madhusudhan Mistry  met the MLAs in the Pradesh Congress Committee office.

The selection of CM candidate would be decided by the party president Sonia Gandhi. The new chief minister would take oath on Basava Jayanthi (Monday) at Kantheerava Stadium due to metro work in front of Vidhana Soudha.

Siddaramaiah was the Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing assembly and secured an easy win from Varuna.

A backward class leader who joined Congress six years ago, Siddaramaiah has already said he was "one of the strong contenders" but has left the decision on chief ministership to the Congress high command and the legislature party.

Siddaramaiah, a former deputy chief minister, joined Congress in 2006 and carries the "outsider tag".

Kharge is a seasoned politician and had served as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President and Leader of Opposition.

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah's Bangalore residence in Kumarkrupa area has become a hub of activity. His supporters have pitched a huge pandal and awaiting announcement of his selection as the chief minister.

OneIndia News

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