|HOME | ELECTION | SPECIALS|
|October 8, 1999||
The Rediff Election Specials/ M D Riti
Krishna is frontrunner in Karnataka CM race
Who will be Karnataka's new chief minister? We will know on Sunday, after the first meeting of the Congress Legislature Party convenes in Bangalore. The first item on its agenda will be the 'election' of the new chief minister. Everyone already knows, though, that Sonia Gandhi will choose the new CM. rediff.com is placing its bet squarely on state party president S M Krishna, but provides you a quick look at all those in the fray….
S M KRISHNA: The man who had the confidence and the gumption to say "Inshahallah!" when rediff.com asked him whether he was going to be Karnataka's next chief minister, just before the polls, is now the strongest contender for the chief minister's position.
Party president of Karnataka for the past year, and credited with leading it to victory in these polls. Known to be close to Sonia Gandhi, worked hard to ensure her victory in Bellary, spending more time there than in his home constituency of Maddur. Has been close to the Gandhi family for years. Also known to champion the cause of his caste mates, the Vokkaligas, one of the two majority communities of Karnataka. Westernised, educated in the US, and not known to enjoy a strong mass base, even though he always has good equations with the Delhi bosses of the Congress.
C K JAFFER SHARIEF: "The people love me and keep voting for me," he told rediff.com some weeks ago. Sharief certainly has been able to retain his seat consistently for several terms, through pro and anti Congress waves, even when stalwarts like Krishna were defeated.
Ace at playing the minority card, believed to win every time with the support of the large minority base in his parliamentary constituency. Now claims credit for bringing the minority votes into the Congress kitty, and says that making him chief minister would enhance the secular image of the Congress. Also stakes his claim because he is one of the most senior Congress leaders around now.
SAREKOPPA BANGARAPPA: "I think the anti-Janata Dal will affect the entire combine, and tarnish both the BJP and the Shakti," Bangarappa told rediff.com last month, and he was proved to be absolutely right. Even though Bangarappa has been in and out of the Congress, floating various regional parties whenever he was angry, he still has the supreme arrogance to throw his hat into the ring every time the chair is up for grabs. He is ever ready to proclaim his Backward Class status as a plus point.
Bangarappa's tenure as chief minister from 1990 to 1992 cost the party dearly in terms of image and credibility, and he left in a cloud of allegations of corruption. However, he is always willing to bank on the shortness of the memories of his electorate and his bosses, and try for the top position in the state again.
MALLIKARJUNA KHARGE: The only serious contender for the chief minister's chair apart from Krishna, Kharge knew he had lost his chance when Sonia made SMK party president last year. Kharge, who won this time with a good margin from Gurmitkal, was the Congress Legislature Party leader for the last term, and is known to be a good administrator and strong leader. Expected to be Krishna's deputy, a man to watch and a definite possible future chief minister of Karnataka.
ELECTION 99 |
SINGLES | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK