Office-bearers' number may touch 200 as Congress looks to quell discontent

Office-bearers' number may touch 200 as Congress looks to quell discontent

The list of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office-bearers is all set to swell and is likely to touch the 200 mark as the party looks to quell internal bickering by adding new faces ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections.

Sitting legislators such as Yeshwantpur MLA S T Somashekar and senior leaders such as former union minister K H Muniyappa had complained that the party's organisation was not representative of caste and regional equations.

At present, the KPCC has 17 vice-presidents, 57 general secretaries, 96 secretaries and one treasurer, making it a total of 171.

According to party sources, the KPCC has sent 30 names to be added to the list, to the high command for approval. The new office-bearers are likely to be appointed before newly elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrives in the state for the poll campaign.

The party is already reeling under a palpable rift between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the party's face for the poll campaign, and KPCC president G Parameshwara with each taking out separate campaign tours.

KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao confirmed this, while admitting that there was "minor discontentment" among leaders over the selection of office-bearers. It was in July this year that the AICC approved a new list of 171 office-bearers.

"Ideally, each secretary should represent one Assembly constituency. Now, one secretary handles 2-3 constituencies, which is making things difficult," Rao said. "Additional people will help us work on the ground with elections fast approaching."

The sheer number of office-bearers will be a first for the state Congress. The party is appointing separate committees in each of the 54,000 booths in the state, a process that is being directly monitored and reviewed by AICC general secretary incharge of Karnataka K C Venugopal.

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