Dinesh appointed KPCC working prez

Dinesh appointed KPCC working prez

Dinesh appointed KPCC working prez

 The Congress high command has begun the exercise of revamping the state Congress unit as part of its preparations for the 2018 Assembly polls.

The move comes in the wake of the party allowing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to effect a major reshuffle of his ministry.

The All India Congress Committee on Monday took the state party leaders by surprise by appointing young turk Dinesh Gundu Rao as the working president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. He lost his ministership in the Sunday reshuffle. The 46-year-old Rao, son of the late chief minister R Gundu Rao, is a Brahmin. He is an MLA from the Gandhinagar constituency in Bengaluru and one of the AICC spokespersons.

The Congress’ decision to make him the face and voice of the party is said to be aimed at countering the BJP, which has been upbeat ever since B S Yeddyurappa took over as state party chief.

Sources said the party also intends to create a parallel power centre by appointing Rao as the working president even as Energy Minister D K Shivakumar is trying for the state Congress chief’s post.

Rao, an engineer, has Siddaramaiah’s blessings. He is also close to many senior leaders in Delhi. Though the chief minister has not openly opposed Shivakumar, it is said he wants a less assertive and aggressive person for the post so that he can function smoothly for the remaining two years.

It is said former minister S R Patil, a Lingayat, is the choice of Siddaramaiah for the party president’s post.

Interestingly, Shivakumar was the working president of the party when R V Deshpande was the president. At that time, he had strongly opposed the creation of the working president’s post on the grounds that there should be no parallel power centre to the president.

The party, it is said, is for appointing either a Vokkaliga or a Lingayat as the KPCC chief. The incumbent, G Parameshwara, completed his term last year. He is also the home minister. Going by the ‘one man one post’ principle of the party, Parameshwara will have to step down. Shivakumar is keen on continuing not just as a minister but as the energy minister even when he becomes the party president.

This may not go down well with the party. Sources said Parameshwara may be continued as the KPCC chief for some more time.

In an interaction with DH, Rao said he had been tasked with strengthening the party and preparing it for the 2018 polls. “We have to strengthen the party by identifying hardworking and loyal workers. It is also our responsibility to counter the communal BJP in the state,” he said.

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