MLAs will elect CLP leader: Krishna

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 29. The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. S.M. Krishna, has said that the leader of the Congress legislature party (CLP) will be chosen by party MLAs in consultation with the high command.

He, however, refused to commit whether the choice would be from within the legislature party or outside it.

Mr. Krishna told a news conference here today that in Karnataka, the leader of the legislature party was chosen by the MLAs under the guidance of the party high command. "What was good for Karnataka should hold good for Kerala as well," he said.

Asked what the party would do in the event of yet another controversy over the leadership question, he said the Congress had enough resilience to handle any revolt. He was also confident that the turbulence in the Congress during candidate selection would not hurt the party's interests in the polls. The misunderstandings have been by and large sorted out.

"We have differences and also the maturity to cement our relations so that when the chips are down we will be ready to fight out enemies," he said.

The Karnataka Chief Minister attributed the differences to the vibrant internal democracy in the party and said though outsiders might view it as a weakness, he would personally view it as a strength. To a question why the party had not given adequate representation to youth in its list of candidates, Mr. Krishna said the list is a mix of youth and age.

Commenting on the LDF's allegation that the Congress was not taking up issues such as the `Tehelka.com expose' with real earnestness so as to earn the goodwill of the BJP in Kerala, Mr. Krishna said his party was not taking on the BJP only because it was not a force to reckon with in the State.

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