File photo of Mallikarjun Kharge during Congress’ plenary meet. (Source: PTI)

Election 2019: HD Kumaraswamy, Siddaramaiah Lock Horns On Twitter Over Mallikarjun Kharge

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's remark that veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge should have been offered the top post long ago has triggered a twitter debate between him and the ruling coalition coordination committee chief Siddaramaiah.

Kumaraswamy's statement comes at a time when there is growing clamour within Congress for Siddaramaiah to become the Chief Minister once again, resulting in a public spat between the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular). Kumaraswamy's comment was even seen as an attempt to checkmate Siddaramaiah, who had hinted on his ambition for the top job.

In a measured response to Chief Minister's statement, Siddaramaiah said, PWD Minister and Kumaraswamy's older brother HD Revanna too has the capability for the top job. "What Kumaraswamy has said is right. Mallikarjun Kharge has capability not only to become Chief Minister, but even higher position. There are several people in Congress and JD(S) who have the capability to become CM. H D Revanna is also one among them. For every thing time has to come," Siddaramaiah said in a tweet.

Kumaraswamy said Kharge should have become Chief Minister and was deep from his heart, based on decades old political reality in Karnataka, and giving any political colour to it or analysing by misunderstanding it is "not healthy". "I don't have a shabby interest to get political advantage through this statement. We should not forget that Kharge's personality is something that is beyond party or caste lines," he said in a tweet.

Addressing a gathering in Chincholi, Kumaraswamy on Tuesday had said, Kharge should have become the Chief Minister long ago. Kharge could have also become Chief Minister of the present Congress-JDS coalition government, but he said, he will abide by party high command's decision, Kumaraswamy had noted.

State BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa had on Wednesday asked Kumaraswamy to resign immediately and vacate the top post for Kharge. Kharge himself had termed Chief Minister's statement as "election time statement" and out of "affection". This debate about Chief Minister has come amid speculation about the longevity of the coalition government in the state after Lok Sabha poll results on May 23.