Ahead of polls, factional feud hurting Cong in many districts

AICC secretaries submit report to Venugopal on infighting

Ahead of polls, factional feud hurting Cong in many districts

The ruling Congress might have managed to ensure that there is no major internal rebellion against it in the past four-and-a-half years since the Siddaramaiah government came to power.

But, it has so far not been able to end squabbling among a section of its leaders, some of whom may even damage the party's prospects in the coming Assembly election.

Internal squabbling is learnt to be plaguing the party in many districts of the state. The party is a divided house in these districts and it is feared that the factional feud may derail the party's programmes chalked out to prepare itself for the elections.

AICC secretaries incharge of revenue divisions in Karnataka – Manickam Tagore, P C Vishnunath, Madhu Yaskhi Goud and Sake Sailajanath – are learnt to have recently submitted a report to AICC general secretary incharge of Karnataka K C Venugopal on the challenges being faced by the party in many districts.

The secretaries have in their reports cautioned the party on the continued squabbling.

Sources in the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) said the party units in Belagavi, Ballari, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Davanagere and Hassan districts are ridden with two or more factions. Repeated efforts to resolve the differences among the leaders have not yielded much result. In districts such as Bengaluru Urban, Uttara Kannada and Mandya, the party leaders, especially the ministers and the MLAs, are not taking much interest in the organisational activities such as ''Mane Manege Congress", the sources said.

For instance, the rift between MLA Anil Lad and Labour Minister Santosh Lad is said to have demoralised the workers in Ballari district.

Another prominent leader M Diwakar Babu is said to be upset with the party for neglecting him. Similarly, differences between Jarkiholi siblings – Textiles Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi and Satish Jarkiholi – have remained unresolved in Belagavi. The two factions led by these leaders refuse to see eye to eye as far as the party affairs are concerned.

In Kolar, local MP and former Union Minister K H Muniyappa and Health Minister K R Ramesh Kumar are at loggerheads while in Chikkaballapur district many of the party leaders are said to be upset with former Union Minister and party local MP M Veerappa Moily and Chikkaballapur MLA Dr K Sudhakar. Leaders in these districts are pushing for their own candidates for contesting the coming polls and some of them have even threatened to rebel if the party choses to neglect them, the sources said.

As if squabbling among district-level leaders is not enough, rift among the senior leaders appears to be widening day by day.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara taking out separate election tours has not only embarrassed the party but also exposed the running feud between Congress 'loyalists' and 'migrants'.

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