Cong hit by too many in Karnataka CM's race

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Bangalore, April 16: Yesterday, while filing his nomination papers Congress leader Siddaramaiah had said he was a strong contender for the post of chief ministership of Karnataka. Today, he made it very apparent that there are too many contenders for the chief minister's chair.

The delay in announcement of candidates list is one pointer to this problems of plenty. Every leader wanted to ensure ticket for his supporters as in the event of a headcount for the leadership, they could make a difference.

Siddaramaiah, Union Minister Mallikarjun Kharge and KPCC chief G Parameshwara are considered to be in the race for chief ministership, besides some backed by central leaders and considered dark horses.

Anybody could become the chief minister because no leader contributed to the decline of the BJP. The ruling BJP is responsible for its fall and if the Congress comes to power, it would be not due to its efforts but because of mistakes of the opponent.

Siddaramaiah, while speaking at meet-the-press programme organised by Bangalore Press Club and Bangalore Reporters Guild today, did not agree to the suggestions of a tussle among chief ministerial aspirants in the Congress.

He said they would fight the May 5 Karnataka Assembly polls under collective leadership without projecting any leader.

"There is nothing wrong if there are some chief ministerial aspirants. But to think that the aspirants would mar the chances of the party has no basis and is only an illusion," Siddaramaiah sought to explain away the simmering tension in the party.

However, the number of seats projected by the party gives away the warring nature of the party leaders and the problems at the ground level. Siddaramaiah said he was "200 per cent" confident that the Congress would cross the half way mark of 113 seats in the 224-member Assembly.

But given the nature of BJP morale in the state and little opposition for the Congress, Siddaramaiah's party should have been aiming at 130 seats. This figure is ambitious as the party will have to double its current tally but if the Congress plays its cards smartly and unitedly, it can still reach that summit.

On former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's low-profile due to unhappiness over distribution of tickets, Siddaramaiah said he had not been sidelined and Krishna would campaign for the party.

OneIndia News

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