SMK, Muniyappa tasked with reviving Cong ahead of polls

SMK, Muniyappa tasked with reviving Cong ahead of polls

Leaders hold meetings to galvanise party; graft charges against BJP to be highlighted

think tank: Former union minister M V Rajashekaran, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and former minister B K Chandrashekar at a KPCC meeting in Bangalore on Sunday. DH PhotoWith the Congress high command decentralising the work of KPCC President G Parameshwara, pressure is building on senior leader S M Krishna to take up the responsibility of rejuvenating the party in parts of the State with an aim to instal the party’s government.

The Congress is out of power for the last eight years, though it led a coalition government with the JD(S) after the 2004 Assembly elections for less than 20 months. In 2004, the Congress, under the leadership of Krishna, could win just 65 seats. 

Krishna listened to the views and suggestions of party leaders and workers from four districts to rebuild the party in a bid to outsmart the BJP in the next elections. The session lasted for three hours at the Congress Bhavan in Bangalore.

The Union minister has been put in charge of 10 districts under the Bangalore Revenue division to revive the party as well as popularise Central schemes. Bangalore City, Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Chikkaballapur, Hassan, Ramanagar and Tumkur are among the 10 districts which fall under the Bangalore division. As many as 79 Assembly constituencies come under his purview.

He has convened a meeting of the office bearers and leaders of the 10 districts on February 25 at Palace Grounds. He is also expected to tour these districts to strengthen the party. Similarly, Union Minister K H Muniyappa, who held a meeting of the Mysore Revenue division, will chair a meeting of the leaders of the districts comings under his purview in Mysore. On Sunday too, he chaired a meeting of the office bearers and leaders.

As both Krishna and Muniyappa had convened the meetings in their capacity, Parameshwara kept off the meetings.

Meetings of no use

At the Bangalore division meeting, a section of the block presidents, legislators and former legislators told Krishna that it was not just enough to hold meetings, but also the seniors should sink their differences to bring the party back to power. Krishna was requested to give more time to the party as his clout still works not only in Bangalore, but across the State.

They also pointed out that at least 40 Assembly constituencies come under Bangalore City, Urban and Rural districts. Yet, the Bangalore City and Urban district blocks do not have presidents. The factions led by B K Hariprasad, Ramalinga Reddy and Dinesh Gundu Rao have been eyeing the key posts, it is said.

In addition, it was pointed out to Krishna that there are 20 office-bearers who have no links with the party organisation.

On his part, Krishna said the party should remain united to oust the corrupt BJP. It is time to explain to the people how the Congress is different from the BJP, which is mired in scams and scandals, he said.

As soon as Muniyappa entered the Congress office, a handful of party workers from Mysore gheraoed him and demanded that ‘outsiders’ should not be entertained in the party. They alleged that Mysore City block president Dasegowda had been entertaining those who had quit the BJP and joined the Congress.