Lingayat group hopes for Sonia nod on leadership change

The State Congress leaders belonging to Veerashaiva community hope that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who rejected their recent demand for a change of guard in the State unit of the party, will have a change of heart during her visit to Karnataka on Thursday.

On Monday, a group of senior leaders faxed a letter to Sonia, seeking an appointment during her visit to Mangalore on Thursday. They are making another attempt to pressure her to agree for a change in leadership in the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), sources said.

As Sonia made it apparent that she would not entertain any caste delegations, the leaders who sought replacement of KPCC president G Parameshwara with Lingayat leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, have roped in other community leaders to project that even other caste groups are seeking the change. 

The letter was addressed to Sonia by the leaders, including MP Mahadev Prasad; legislators P M Ashok, B C Patil, and Amare Gouda Bayyapur; former legislators Rani Satish, K C Kondaiah and V S Ugrappa; KPCC members Allum Veerabhadrappa, Saleem Ahmed and Nagaraj Yadav; Davangere District Congress Committee president Jabbar Khan; former MP R S Patil and former KPCC general secretary Kenche Gowda.

If they don’t get an opportunity to meet Sonia, the group has decided to go to Delhi and reiterate its demand before her political secretary Ahmed Patel next week.

On Thursday, Sonia will address a workers’ convention before participating in the centenary celebrations of the Gokarnatheshwara temple in Mangalore.

Membership drive

On Tuesday, KPCC will launch this year’s membership drive across the country. AICC Karnataka in-charge Madhusudan Mistry, Shantharam Naik, Hanumantha Rao, CLP leader Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Opposition in the Council S R Patil and Parameshwara will take part.

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