Bury hatchet to stay in power, Venugopal tells Congressmen

Last Updated 25 May 2017, 19:26 IST

After four days of marathon meetings with party leaders, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal on Thursday sent out a clear message to the partymen: bury the hatchet if you want to retain power.
“If the party is united and if the workers are united, then people will stand by us... Our mantra is: “Be united and retain power in Karnataka,” he told reporters.

Bickering and differences among party leaders in various districts had came to the fore in the past four days when Venugopal, along with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara, interacted with district-level leaders. And the AICC general secretary had no qualms in admitting it. “There are some differences of opinion among the leaders in some places... We have discussed those issues threadbare and put in place a mechanism to resolve them,” he stated.

He said district-level co-ordination committees have been formed to find solutions to the problems. The committees will meet regularly and try to iron out all differences. All the leaders have been told that it is very important for the party to win the 2018 elections. Besides, directions have been issued to them on measures to be taken to strengthen the party in the next nine months, he added.

Venugopal warned that the party will take strict action against those who air their grievances in public. Indiscipline will not be tolerated in future. No leader should make any statement against the leadership or the party. Problems, if any, should be reported to us. We are here to find solutions,” he said.

However, he did not give a clear reply to a query as to why the party has been hesitant in taking action against leaders like A H Vishwanath and Janardhana Poojary who had been extremely critical of Siddaramaiah’s style of functioning.

He accused the state BJP of staging a drama to appease Dalits ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections in Karnataka. People have been witnessing what is happening with Dalits across the country. Dalits were being targeted in all the BJP-ruled states in the past three years. The saffron party leaders in Karnataka are, however, showing love towards them (Dalits), the Congress leader said, referring to the state BJP leaders having breakfast at Dalits’ houses in various parts of the state.

He dared the saffron party leaders to take part in a debate on the four-year performance of the party’s government in Karnataka.

The Siddaramaiah government has implemented a number of pro-poor programmes. It has shown concern for the poor and the downtrodden. The party has received good feedback from everywhere, and it is confident of retaining the power in the state, he added.

Meanwhile, Venugopal, KPCC president G Parameshwara and Dinesh Gundu Rao met senior leader Jaffer Sharief at his residence. It was a casual visit.

(Published 25 May 2017, 19:26 IST)

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