Amid intense lobbying for the Chief Minister’s post in Karnataka, senior Congress leader G Paraeshwara on Tuesday said he was ready to take up the responsibility if the party high command asked him to run the government.
The former state Congress President said, the high command is aware of his service to the party, and he doesn’t feel the need to lobby for the post.
”If the high command decides and asks me to run the government, I’m ready to take up the responsibility,” the former Deputy Chief Minister told reporters here.
”I have faith in the party high command. I have certain principles. I can also take about 50 legislators and do the shouting, but for me the discipline of the party is important. If people like us don’t follow things, there won’t be any discipline in the party. I have said that if the high command gives me the responsibility, I will take it up. I have not said I won’t.”, he said.
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”They (high command) too are aware that I have worked for the party, served it for eight years (as KPCC President) and brought it to power (in 2013). Also I have served as the Deputy Chief Minister. They know everything, there is nothing for us to say afresh. So I feel there is no need for me to ask for the post or lobby for it, and I’m quiet. That doesn’t mean i’m incapable, I’m capable and if given an opportunity will do the job,” he added.
State Congress President D K Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah are locked in an intense power struggle over who will lead the government, after the Congress stormed to power by winning 135 seats in the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.
Both the leaders are in Delhi to discuss with the party central leadership on the government formation and the next CM.
The three central observers of the Congress, who interacted with newly elected party MLAs on their choice for Chief Minister, briefed party chief M Mallikarjun Kharge and submitted their report on Monday.
The Congress Legislature Party (CLP), which met at a hotel in Bengaluru on Sunday, had passed a unanimous resolution authorising Kharge to pick the next Chief Minister.
Noting that the party had faced the elections under collective leadership, but Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah were at the front, as someone has to lead, Parameshwar said, the high command will decide on the next CM, and felt it won’t be a difficult task.
He said, the party has the responsibility to deliver to the people, with the huge mandate in hand.
Parameshwara, a Dalit, was Deputy Chief Minister during Congress-JD(S) coalition government led by H D Kumaraswamy.
He was also the longest-serving KPCC chief (eight years) and has a PhD in plant physiology from the Waite Agriculture Research Centre of the University of Adelaide.
Parameshwara, who represents Koratagere in Tumakuru district, had lost the 2013 assembly polls, when he was KPCC president. He was a contender for the chief minister’s post then, but as he lost the elections, he was made an MLC and a minister in the Siddaramaiah government.