In Karnataka, 4 contenders from Congress

Speculation is rife over who will lead the new Congress government which is expected to take charge once the results of the Karnataka Assembly polls are out. Most exit polls have predicted a majority for the Congress with the BJP and JD(S) coming a poor second and third.

The two top contenders — CLP leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dr G. Parameshwar — made no secret of their desire to become CM if cleared by the high command. Two other senior leaders — petroleum and natural gas minister M. Veerappa Moily and Union labour minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge — refrained from making any comment.
Mr Moily, seen as the dark horse among the four, asserted he was not in the CM race. “The party has given me all that I want. Whenever the party has come to power, they have offered me a post. So I will not stake claim. I have made it clear I am not in the race,” he said.
Congress insiders, felt Mr Moily, who was CM from 1992-94, could emerge a potential candidate if the party falls drastically short of a majority or if there is no agreement on the top three contenders. “The party feels it cannot err in its judgment with the Lok Sabha polls due in 2014. The leadership knows it will have to provide a clean administration if it wants to win more Lok Sabha seats,” the source said.

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