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Rahul readies Congress for Karnataka polls

By Amit Agnihotri
May 16, 2017 09:19 IST
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Buoyed by the recent victories in Gundlupet and Nanjangud bypolls, Rahul was keen to revamp the state unit and was personally monitoring the developments. Amit Agnihotri reports.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is using various management techniques for toning up the organisation and has asked party managers to bring in a new work culture in Karnataka in this regard.

This comes when the state is scheduled to go to polls in April next year.

Rahul discussed the issue with the newly appointed All India Congress Committee team, including general-secretary (in-charge) K C Venugopal and the four new secretaries.

Venugopal and his deputies, Manickam Tagore, P C Vishnunadh, Madhu Yashki Goud and Sake Sailajanath, had spent three days in Bengaluru last week, holding one-on-one meetings with over 400 leaders to frame a strategy for the poll campaign.

The local leaders were also consulted regarding AICC’s plan to appoint a new state unit chief as incumbent G Parameshwara will hold the home portfolio.

State power minister D K Shivakumar is a front runner in this case, sources said.

Though other leaders are also lobbying for the post, the fact that Shivakumar is a Vokkaliga leader might go in his favour as his ascension would help the Congress counter the recent migration of veteran S M Krishna, who belongs to the same community.

According to sources, the four AICC secretaries would travel across Karnataka’s 224 assembly constituencies to get a first-hand feedback of the situation. The secretaries, who will be allotted 55 seats each, will focus on strengthening the booth-level committees as well as incorporate the workers’ views in the decision-making process.

Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah has convened a four-day session starting May 22 in the state capital to hear out the district-level leaders. Sources said the congregation would be used to thrash out differences between local leaders and the party’s lawmakers.

They added that buoyed by the recent victories in Gundlupet and Nanjangud bypolls, Rahul was keen to revamp the state unit and was personally monitoring the developments, the only big state in the Congress’ kitty.

Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has been made chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.

Former Mandya lawmaker Ramya will head the national social media department.

Last year, the AICC had appointed lawmaker Dinesh Gundu Rao as the working president of the Karnataka unit to pacify dissenters.

The Congress had won 122 seats in the 2013 assembly polls with the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal-Secular at 40 each.

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Amit Agnihotri
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