Mistry convenes State Cong leaders' meet tomorrow

Mistry convenes State Cong leaders' meet tomorrow

 In a move to improve the party’s poll prospects, All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Madhusudhan Mistry, who is incharge of the State party unit, has called a meeting of senior leaders on August 22 in New Delhi.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah, Opposition leader in the Legislative Council S R Patil, MPs, AICC members and other leaders have been invited to the meeting, said sources in the party.

The meeting is significant in the wake of growing unrest in the Congress over the leadership issue.

While Vokkaligas in the party are wooing S M Krishna to return to State politics, Lingayats are projecting Shamanur Shivashankarappa, as an alternative to incumbent KPCC chief Parameshwara.

In a bid to bolster support to Parameshwara, Lingayat Congressmen are trying to drum up support of senior leaders from backward classes, minorities, Scheduled Castes and Tribes to achieve their mission.

A delegation of party leaders representing all communities are likely to meet AICC chairperson Sonia Gandhi by the end of the month.

A memorandum explaining reasons behind seeking a leadership change in the party will be submitted to her, sources said.

Detractors of Parameshwara, who do not want to be named, have alleged that the KPCC chief was not taking party leaders of all communities into confidence.
If the situation persists, the Congress may not be able to garner even 100 seats in the upcoming Assembly elections. Thus, for the party to get an edge over the BJP, it should be led by a Lingayat, they said.

When contacted, Shivashankarappa said many in the party were looking for a leadership change.

Crucial issues of disciplining party members and improving poll prospects were not discussed in the last co-ordination committee meeting organised in the City, as the defeat of Iqbal Saradagi in the MLC elections took the centre stage.

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