Telangana Cong MLAs authorise Kharge to name chief minister
The decision from the high command is awaited. We are expecting clarity tomorrow (Tuesday),” a senior party leader aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.
Hyderabad: A day after the Congress stormed to power in Telangana, the newly elected MLAs on Monday authorised AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge to appoint the leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP), as the party began discussions to decide on the chief minister of the state.
According to Karnataka deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar, who is the AICC observer for Telangana, “all the members of the newly elected Congress party unanimously resolved to authorise Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to appoint the Congress Legislature Party leader”.
“All have decided that whatever the high command decides, we will go by that,” Shivakumar told reporters after a meeting of the CLP, which lasted for over three hours at a private hotel in Hyderabad. Shivakumar left for Delhi later in the day to hold discussions with the central leadership.
“The decision from the high command is awaited. We are expecting clarity tomorrow (Tuesday),” a senior party leader aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.
On Sunday, the Congress scripted a rare turnaround story in Telangana as it comprehensively trounced the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) by winning 65 of the 119 seats in the southern state – a rare feat for a party that had not been able to defeat a regional powerhouse in any key state, barring the Northeast, since the turn of the millennium.
According to Congress functionaries aware of the developments, state party chief A Revanth Reddy, who engineered the stirring victory, is on the cusp of becoming the chief minister of the decade-old state.
The CLP meeting was attended by Reddy, Karnataka minister KJ George and Congress leader Deepa Das Munshi, among others.
A senior Congress leader said that at the meeting, a resolution proposed by Reddy and seconded by senior MLAs, including Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and D Sridhar Babu, was passed, authorising Kharge to pick the new CLP leader.
“We will get to know the high command’s decision soon,” the leader from Karimnagar district said, seeking anonymity.
A second leader said the central leadership is in favour of picking Reddy as the CLP leader, as he enjoys the support of a majority of the MLAs.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former member of Rajya Sabha V Hanumantha Rao said Reddy could be the next chief minister. “We will have to see what is decided in the CLP meeting. Most probably, Revanth Reddy has chances to become the chief minister going by all the work he did.”
Former state minister Konda Surekha also batted for Reddy for the top post. “Reddy is going to take the chief minister’s post with the high command’s blessing,” Surekha said.
There are other leaders in the race for the top post.
Ahead of the CLP meeting, Shivakumar separately met Nalgonda MP and former state party chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy, CLP leader in the outgoing assembly Bhatti Vikramarka and Munugode MLA Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy at another hotel in the city, according to a party veteran who did not want to be named.
The state is also likely to have a deputy chief minister and Vikramarka may be selected for the post, the leader added.
“If the high command directs, I am ready to take up the responsibility,” Vikramarka told the media on Sunday.