Kharge should have been made CM long time ago: Karnataka CM

M Mallikarjun Kharge

Bengaluru: Even as a bitter spat between the leaders of the ruling coalition partners Congress and JD(S) to make Siddaramaiah the chief minister again is going on, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy stated injustice was done to Congress veteran M Mallikarjun Kharge as he should have been given the position a long time ago.

Kumaraswamy made the statement while addressing a meeting in Chincholi assembly segment for a by-election on Tuesday and the event was attended by Kharge. Chincholi assembly seat will go to bypolls on 19 May and Subhash Rathod is the Congress candidate.

However, Kharge termed Kumaraswamy’s remarks as election-time statement. Karge has never tasted electoral defeat and has been an MLA nine times and a Lok Sabha member twice.

Latching on to the JD(S) leader’s statement, BJP state unit president B S Yeddyurappa yesterday asked Kumaraswamy to immediately vacate the post for Kharge. “I have never said we will topple the government. We are not making attempts. JD(S) and Congress are fighting each other and because of their differences, the government will collapse,” he further claimed.

“Mallikarjun Kharge should have become the chief minister long ago. I feel injustice has been done to him. I would like to clearly say Kharge has not been given recognition for the work he has done (for his party),” Kumaraswamy said, adding there has been a “fault somewhere”.

Senior BJP legislator Basanagouda Patil Yatnal termed Kumaraswamy’s remarks a conspiracy aimed at creating a rift between Siddaramaiah and Kharge to continue in power. “If he wants to make Kharge (CM), he can give up the seat for him. It is kind of a drama (by Kumaraswamy),” he said, adding no one, even in Congress, was interested in making Kharge CM.

NT Bureau