Bengaluru: A day after newly-appointed All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal declared that the aim of Congress is to stop the BJP from coming to power in the 2018 Assembly elections, he had to witness some embarrassing moments this morning as several party leaders complained to him about Chief Minister Siddharamaiah’s style of functioning.
Venugopal, who is on a three-day visit to Karnataka after assuming charge on April 29, had to deal with the complaints against governance and party affairs. His very first visitor was former Minister A.H. Vishwanath who submitted a four-page complaint.
Vishwanath, who is known as a staunch critic of Congress party-led State Government in general and CM Siddharamaiah in particular, in his complaint, alleged that though he had been active in Congress since his student days, of late, he had been sidelined in the party by ‘outsiders.’
“State Ministers and KPCC leaders are enjoying the power instead of serving the people. Party has no hopes in 2018 Assembly elections,” he wrote to Venugopal, according to sources.
“I was humiliated by Siddharamaiah on several occasions and he has insulted me. If I am on the verge of quitting Congress, it is because of Siddharamaiah’s attitude,” Vishwanath is learnt to have said. Sources also said that Vishwanath urged Venugopal to stay in the State for a few more days and replace both the CM and KPCC President Dr. G. Parameshwara with original Congress leaders like Mallikarjuna Kharge.
Apart from Vishwanath, many KPCC office-bearers and District Congress Committee (DCC) Presidents are learnt to have complained against the style of functioning of Siddharamaiah and Dr. Parameshwara. The Government has not been co-operating with Congress workers and Parameshwara is ignoring such issues as he is part of Siddharamaiah’s Cabinet, they reportedly said.
Many DCC Presidents and KPCC office-bearers have also told Venugopal that Parameshwara has not been able to function effectively as KPCC Chief due to his Ministerial responsibilities. Some of them even complained that the Chief Minister is giving priority to only certain communities and neglecting others.
Youth force in State
The AICC has given top priority for strengthening the party from the grassroot level. It has also mooted a youth force to lure young voters and win the 2018 polls by making a united effort.
Meanwhile, Venugopal is likely to take a house on rent in Bengaluru as he has decided to visit the State frequently till 2018 polls.
Sources in the Congress said that the party is looking for an independent house for Venugopal, so that he can use it as his home-office. Besides, Venugopal is planning to set up what is called as ‘war room’ to prepare the party for the 2018 polls, sources added.