Congress takes grassroots route ahead of Assembly elections

Congress takes grassroots route ahead of Assembly elections

All party workers to be part of decision making

The State Congress is all set to replicate the Rajasthan and Chikmagalur model to prepare the party for the next Assembly elections in Karnataka. 

The party is chalking out programmes to involve workers at grassroots level instead of parading only the president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) or its legislature party leader at all its meetings. 

The All India Congress Committee (AICC), which has decentralised the responsibility of revitalising the party at all levels, has already appointed the four Union ministers from the State as the divisional heads. 

Union Minister S M Krishna, who heads the Bangalore division, has the responsibility of preparing the party for the elections in nine districts, including Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur and Kolar. 

Union ministers Mallikarjuna Kharge, K H Muniyappa and Veerappa Moily, who are heading the other three divisions, have completed one round of meetings in their jurisdictions.
   Krishna held a preliminary meeting some months ago, but has not spared time for meetings since then. Now, to begin with, he will hold three consecutive meetings – in Kolar on July 30, Bangalore on July 31 and Tumkur on August 1. 

During the meetings, he will interact with MPs, MLAs, district presidents, block presidents, members of the local bodies including gram panchayats. In Tumkur, the public will be allowed to attend his meetings.

B L Shankar, who is part of Krishna’s team in Bangalore division, told Deccan Herald that Krishna was scheduled to hold meetings in May to review the implementation of the Centrally-sponsored programmes. The meetings would be held in the offices of the deputy commissioners, he said.

Shankar said, “From panchayat to parliament level, we have decided to hold meetings May onwards. This approach yielded rich dividends in the byelection to the Chikmagalur-Udupi Lok Sabha seat. As PCC president in Rajasthan, C P Joshi could bring the party to power in 2008 by involving workers and leaders at all levels.”

Sources in the party said Krishna had so far not expressed his mind on playing an active role in State politics to bring the party back to power. He held a programme in Magadi Road area under the banner - Congressge banni, Badalavane Thanni  (Come to Congress, bring changes). But the same vigour was not shown later.

Unless a leader sits in the KPCC office and interacts with partymen on a daily basis, it was not possible to rebuild the party. Krishna too had detractors in the party, sources said. 

Rahul keen on polls

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi is evincing keen interest in the party affairs in Karnataka as the Assembly elections are due in the next 10 to 12 months. 

He has been holding talks with the State Congress MLAs in Delhi on a one-on-one basis.

Every day, he is meeting two MLAs from the State, it is said. Already Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Ramanath Rai, Qamrul Islam, K G George, Abhayachandra Jain, among others held talks with Rahul. Former MLA Mahima Patel too met him, it is learnt.  A senior Congress leader said there was possibility of Rahul himself taking charge of the party affairs in the State in the election year. 

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