Exuding confidence that the Congress would retain power in Karnataka, the part’y new state unit in-charge K C Venugopal today said the BJP’s hopes of returning to power in the state will not be fulfilled.
Ruling out any difference within the state unit, he said “all the confusion” regarding the new Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president would be cleared this month. “With the support of our leaders and workers and because of the people-friendly programmes of our state government headed by Siddaramaiahji, we are going to retain power in Karnataka,” Venugopal said.
He said “the hopes of the BJP friends that they would capture Karnataka also, will not be fulfilled.”
Venugopal made the remarks while speaking to reporters after chairing the Congress co-ordination committee meeting, attended among others, by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state party president G Parameshwara.
Stating that the BJP’s only “mantra” to win elections was by polarising people, he said “dividing people will not work in Karnataka. That is our strong belief because the people of Karnataka believe in development, they believe in social justice, they believe in governance.”
He also claimed the track record of the state government has been excellent.
Venugopal, who took over as the Congress’ state general secretary in-charge from Digvijay Singh last week, held marathon one-to-one deliberations with over 430 Congress leaders individually in the last three days.
The party sources said during their meetings with Venugopal, many leaders expressed displeasure against Siddaramaiah and Parameshawara, while stressing upon the need to fight the 2018 polls under “collective leadership.”
Venugopal said after deliberations with the leaders in Karnataka, he found unprecedented unity in the party’s rank and file and he was very happy to know it.
Conceding that there were “some” differences among the party leaders, Venugopal, however, said they were “very less” in Karnataka compared to the other states and it can be resolved by the party leaders.
Terming the performance of the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government during the the last four years as “excellent,” Venugopal said there is no difference of opinion on this within the party, but there are “gaps” in communicating good works of the government to the people.
Noting that there is need to strengthen the organisation at all levels, he said all the confusion regarding the new president would be cleared this month itself.
“There is some confusion in the media regarding the post of PCC president… all the confusion will be cleared this month itself,” he said.
Evading a direct reply to a query as to whether the PCC president would be changed and what were his recommendations on the issue, he said “it is between me and my party leadership.”
There is stiff competition among senior party leaders for the post of president ahead of the 2018 assembly elections.
While Parameshwara is trying to retain the post, other leaders like D K Shivakumar, M B Patil, S R Patil too are said to be in the race.
To a question on senior leaders leaving Congress and joining other parties, Venugopal said he has been informed that leaders from other parties would be joining Congress in coming days.
On former MP Vishwanath expressing displeasure against the state leadership yesterday and hinting at quitting the Congress through a letter, he said “it is not a complaint…. he has told me that he is in the Congress and will be with the Congress.”
Commenting on the issue, Siddaramaiah said there were no differences between him and Vishwanath, and “according to me he will not leave Congress.”