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Congress to fight 2018 Karnataka polls under collective leadership: Kharge

PTI | Bengaluru |


Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday said his party will fight the 2018 Assembly election in Karnataka under "collective leadership".

To a question whether he is being considered for the party's state unit president post, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha said, "I have not even applied for it."

"We will go (to polls) under collective leadership…After we come to power, things will happen according to what is decided by the CLP (Congress Legislature Party) and our high command," he told reporters here.

There is a stiff competition among senior party leaders for the state Congress president's post ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls. While Home Minister G Parameshwara is seeking to retain the post, other leaders like D K Shivakumar, M B Patil, S R Patil are also said to be in the fray.

Kharge said, unlike the BJP, where all powers are concentrated with one person, that is Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress has a high command which takes decisions.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had expressed confidence that the Congress will return to power in the state after the next Assembly elections under his leadership and the chief ministerial candidate will be decided by the party high command

He had said the party's norm is that the chief ministerial candidate is first selected by the CLP after which it is ratified by the high command.

"So, as of now, I cannot say that I will be the chief ministerial candidate. It is a decision of the high command," Kharge had said.

Newly appointed Congress' general secretary in-charge K C Venugopal had on Wednesday said there is no difference in the party's state unit and "all confusion" on the new pradesh Congress committee president will be cleared within this month.

Polling for the 224 seats in Karnataka legislative assembly is expected to be held early next year.

The BJP, which is in the opposition in the state, under the leadership of its state unit president B S Yeddyurappa has set a target of 150 seats for the elections.