Kalaburagi: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said Congress veteran M Mallikarjuna Kharge should have been given the top post in the state a long time ago and alleged injustice was done to the veteran leader.
His remarks at a public meeting attended by Kharge comes amidst a bitter spat between the leaders of Congress and JD(S) over the growing demand from a section of the national party's MLAs that Siddaramaiah be made the chief minister once again.
Kumaraswamy is leading the Congress-JDS coalition government in the state.
"Mallikarjun Kharge should have been the Chief Minister long back.. I feel injustice has been done to him.. I would like to clearly say that Kharge has not been given recognition for all the work he has rendered," Kumaraswamy said at a meeting in Chincholi on Tuesday.
Siddaramaiah, Coalition Coordination Committee Chairman, had termed the growing clamour within his party to make him the Chief Minister once again as an expression of supporters' "affection," but said he still stood by his word of not contesting the next assembly polls.
Chincholi assembly seat is going for by-polls on May 19.
Subhash Rathod is the Congress candidate there.
Kharge has been elected twice from Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency and has been a central cabinet minister during Congress rule in the past.
Flaying state BJP President B S Yeddyurappa for his comments on the longevity of the coalition government, Kumaraswamy said his government would become stronger after announcement of the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23.
The Chief Minister said it would complete its term as he was enjoying the support of Kharge and Siddaramaiah.
"BJP leaders are setting deadline after deadline for the fall of my government. The latest is May 23. Nothing will happen. In fact, my government will get stronger after May 23 as it is enjoying the strong support of Congress leaders such as Mallikarjun Kharge and Siddaramaiah," he added.