Karnataka: Fresh trouble for Congress as some leaders question Siddaramaiah, Dinesh Rao’s leadership

By: |
September 27, 2019 7:56 PM

After the Lok Sabha poll rout, Congress had dissolved the KPCC but did not remove its state president and working president.

SiddaramaiahFormer Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

In fresh trouble for the Congress in Karnataka, some senior leaders have questioned former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s and state party chief Dinesh Gundu Rao’s “unilateral” style of functioning.

An unperturbed Rao on Friday said he will remain in the post till the party asks him to step down.

“Some people politically are engaging in a false campaign, I don’t pay heed to it. Until high command asks me to stay in the post I will remain. If high command asks me to go I will go,” Rao told reporters here.

“Just because someone asked I will not resign. No one has asked for it also. I will work in the party’s interest.”

As the Congress sat down to finalise its list of candidates for the bypolls to 15 assembly segments in Karnataka, the party seemed to be a divided house with differences cropping up between some senior leaders at a meeting held on Thursday.

At the meeting of state Congress’ election committee attended by AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, some senior leaders expressed their displeasure about state leadership’s “unilateral style of functioning” and over accountability not being fixed for party’s debacle in polls.

According to a top party functionary, Gundu Rao and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah were in the line of fire at the meeting from B K Hariprasad and K H Muniyappa, who took exception at not being consulted during candidates’ selection process, and being called after names were “mostly finalised.”

Responding to a question about reports that a few Congress Rajya Sabha members from state were writing to the high command on change in leadership, including CLP leader and PCC presidents, Rao said he was not aware of such things and termed it “speculative.”

Under attack for not taking action against those within the party allegedly responsible for the defeat of Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha polls, Rao during the meeting is even said to have offered to resign.

Responding to it, Rao said “Some people have spoken about no action being taken. Without proof we cannot take action, just because some one is saying.

We have formed a fact finding committee, it will submit report on October 2, based on it we will take action after inquiry.”

Muniyappa had even accused Siddaramaiah of “sheltering” Congress leaders in Kolar, who worked against him in Lok Sabha polls resulting in his defeat, according to sources, which led to an argument between the two at the meeting.

After the Lok Sabha poll rout, Congress had dissolved the KPCC but did not remove its state president and working president. However, speculation has been rife in party circles that the KPCC president may also be changed.

Responding to allegation that he followed Siddaramaiah’s instructions, Rao said “I’m not in favour of any one, neither Siddaramaiah, nor G Parameshwara or D K Shivakumar. I work for Congress. At many instances, I have opposed Siddaramaiah on issues.

I have stood by the interest of the party…. I’m not anyone’s chela (disciple).As some people don’t have anything against me, they brand me pro-Siddaramaiah,” he added.

Supporting Hariprasad and Muniyappa, disqualified Congress MLA S T Somashekar on Friday hit out at Rao and questioned if he was PCC President or “chela” of Siddaramaiah.

“…he is not capapable to work as KPCC President.. Rao’s only qualification is his father was Chief Minister,” he said.

Somashekar questioned as to why action was not taken against those within the party who worked for the defeat of Congress candidates in Lok Sabha elections.

Hitting back at Somashekar, Rao said he feels pity for the disqualified MLA and he was making such statements after being disqualified and as his plans to become minister failed.

Rao also said there has to be discipline in the party and it was not right to discuss openly about what happened in the meeting.

Replying to a question about factions within the party, he said “Show me a party that is without factions, factions should be there, party without factions don’t have vibrancy.

When there is factions there will be competition to work effectively, but it should not become negative.”

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