Senior Cong leaders meet state leaders on action to be taken after bypoll rout


PTI, Dec 20, 2019, 10:29 AM IST

Bengaluru: With the Karnataka Congress in a “vacuum” following the resignation of its top two leaders after the rout in the December 5 assembly bypolls, senior party leaders Madhusudan Mistry and Bhakta Charan Das on Thursday met a host of state leaders on behalf of the high command to gather their opinion on the next course of action.

Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and State Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao quit after the party posted a poor show, winning only two seats, as against 12 it had held of the 15 which went to the December 5 bypolls.

According to sources Mistry and Das gathered opinions on the resignations, whether they need to be accepted or not, and replacements in case the resignations were accepted and also about strengthening the party after its “disastrous” performance in the bypolls.

Among the senior leaders who met the high command representatives were D K Shivakumar, K H Muniyappa, Veerappa Moily, B K Hariprasad, H K Patil, K B Koliwad among others.

Mistry and Das also visited former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is currently recuperating after undergoing angioplasty recently.

“Shri. @MD_Mistry & Shri. @BHAKTACHARANDAS visited me at my residence in Bengaluru.

We discussed various issues concerning our Country and the need to actively fight against policies of @BJP4India,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, H K Patil said that since the leaders had resigned in the backdrop of the party’s performance in the bypolls, Mistry and Das hade come to seek the opinion of other state leaders and he gave his inputs in the interest of the party.

Stating that feedback was being gathered from more than 50 people,he said, “they (Mistry and Das) will submit their report to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and what ever decision she takes, we will abide by it.”

Asked if there would be changes in the Congress for the New Year, Patil said “it has to happen, because we cannot let the party stay in a vacuum for long, looking at the developments that are unfolding. There is a need to reorganise the party urgently.”

Patil, along with another senior party leader G Parameshwara, are among those seen as the front-runners for the CLP leader’s post, vacated by Siddaramaiah.

According to party sources, those loyal to Siddaramaiah have tried to pressurise the Congress high command not to accept his resignation by highlighting the “necessity” of his leadership for the party.

They want to retain Siddaramaiah as the Leader of the Opposition, if not as CLP leader, the two posts that he held until recently.

Sources, however said, replacement of Rao as KPCC chief, by accepting his resignation was most likely.

Muniyappa, D K Shivakumar and KPCC Working President Eshwar Khandre are being seen as the other top contenders for the post state President’s post.

Both Siddaramaiah and Rao in the past had faced resentment within the party ahead of the bypolls, as several senior leaders were upset over their unilateral style of functioning and selection of candidates.

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