The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Sunday evening passed an unanimous resolution authorizing Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to pick the next Chief Minister of Karnataka. The CLP meeting was attended by AICC General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal and three central observers, who met at a private hotel in Bengaluru on Sunday evening, reported PTI.

In the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the Congress scored an emphatic victory with 135 seats, while the ruling BJP secured 66 and the former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) bagged 19 seats.

Ahead of the meeting, the leaders had a meeting with Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president DK Shivakumar, who are the probable chief ministerial candidates.

“The Congress Legislature Party unanimously resolves that the AICC President is hereby authorized to appoint the new Leader of the Congress Legislature Party,” according to a one-line resolution, which was moved by Siddaramaiah, passed at the CLP meeting.

With Kharge set to choose the CM, the contenders are expected to arrive in Delhi on Monday to meet Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi as well as the Congress president.

After the CLP meet, Venugopal said, “This process of taking the opinion of all MLAs will be completed tonight itself.” Reportedly, the observors will be handling their report upon consulting all MLAs by today.

Congress general secretary in charge communications Jairam Ramesh said that the process adopted by the grand-old party to elect the CLP leader was “inner-party democracy at its best”, adding that all were heard.

“The new Congress Govt in Karnataka that will take over soon will be a STAR—Sensitive, Transparent, Accountable & Responsive,” Ramesh said on Twitter.

After the results were declared on Saturday, Congress president Kharge deputed former Maharashtra chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, AICC general secretary Jitendra Singh and former AICC general secretary Deepak Babaria as observers for the election of the CLP leader in Karnataka.

The legislature party passed another resolution, moved by Shivakumar, promising to implement the five promises made to the people of Karnataka, and further stated that the CLP in the southern state “wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude towards the 6.5 crore Kannadigas for reposing their faith in us and giving a decisive mandate to the Congress Party in the Karnataka Assembly Elections.”

“This is indeed a victory of every Kannadiga, a victory of ‘swabhimana’ of Karnataka and a victory of progress and harmony to rebuild ‘Brand Karnataka’,” it said.

The resolution added, “It is no coincidence that the Congress campaign in its true earnestness began way back in September-October 2022 during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, when Rahul Gandhi walked nearly 600 kilometers for a period of 21 days through the length and breadth of Karnataka, which immensely energized the cadre to take on the malgovernance, corruption and maladministration of the ruling BJP government.”

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