Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday claimed injustice was meted out to senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge by not giving him the post of chief minister in the state years ago, PTI reported.

At a meeting in Chincholi where Kharge was also among those present, Kumaraswamy said, “I would like to clearly say that Kharge has not been given recognition for all the work he has rendered.”

Kharge is a two-time Lok Sabha lawmaker from Gulbarga constituency in Karnataka and has also served as a cabinet minister in the Karnataka Government. Chincholi assembly seat is going for bye-polls on May 19 in the last phase of the General Elections.

BJP leader Yeddyurappa asked Kumaraswamy to resign and make Kharge the chief minister. “To make his dream come true, let him resign tomorrow itself and make Kharge the chief minister,” he said in Kalaburgi, according to PTI.

These remarks come at a time when the fight between the Congress and the JD(S) is intensifying over the demand that Siddaramaiah be made the chief minister once again.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition in the state is headed by Kumaraswamy. Several the party workers and leaders of both parties have been openly rebelling against the partnership.

Dismissing BJP’s statements of internal differences destabilising his rule, Kumaraswamy claimed his government would become stronger after the Lok Sabha election results are announced on May 23. “BJP leaders are setting deadline after deadline for the fall of my government,” the chief minister claimed. “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.”

Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Chairman of Coalition Coordination Committee Siddaramaiah said he still stood by his word of not contesting the next assembly polls and termed workers demand of making him Chief Minister once again as expression of supporter’s affection.