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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006
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BANGALORE: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday made it clear that Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh will function as Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly as he is the leader of the Congress Legislature Party.
Addressing presspersons, he said there is no change in the leadership of the Congress in the Assembly "as of now." Asked to clarify the statement, he said the party has not thought of changing its leader and the media should not distort his words. Mr. Dharam Singh was elected leader of the party in the House and there is no question of removing him. The party has not discussed the issue, Mr. Kharge added.
Asked about the Congress strategy in the Legislative Assembly on the controversy involving the recognition of Chief Minister-designate H.D. Kumaraswamy as leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party, he said the Congress will discuss the issue after Friday (when Mr. Kumaraswamy is expected to be sworn in as Chief Minister). It is for the Janata Dal (S) leaders who claim that their faction is the "real JD(S)" to raise the issue. However, Congress leaders, such as Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.K. Patil, are examining the issue along with legal experts, he added.
Mr. Kharge expressed displeasure over the non-induction of Congress MPs from Karnataka in the Union Ministry in Sunday's reshuffle, and said this is unfortunate.
He hoped Congress MPs will be accommodated in the next reshuffle after the presentation of the Union Budget.
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