Cong braces up in right earnest

Meet held in view of the upcoming BBMP and bypolls to five assembly segments

 Venue for its convention, the National College grounds, a favourite haunt of its rival the BJP for holding public meetings, was also symbolic of making foray into the strongholds of the saffron fold in the State.

Reason for organising the event was to felicitate three Union Cabinet ministers and one Union Minister of State from Karnataka, S M Krishna, Veerappa Moily, Mallikarjun Kharge and K H Muniyappa and also the newly appointed Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah.

However, the Congress wanted to flex its political muscle which was obvious. Top party leaders jostled for space as they shared the huge dais. A few leaders did not see eye to eye, which was another matter.

The BJP’s Vijay Sankalp convention held last month to mark the completion of one year in office at the same venue was marred by several ministers staying away from the event.
Leaders attributed the party’s victory at the Centre to the trio—Manmohan Singh, party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, rapped the BJP government in the State for its alleged inefficiency and exhorted party workers to bring the Congress back to power in the State.

Investors going out

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna set the ball rolling by accusing the State government of destablising the State finance and of driving away investors and industries out of the State. The healthy economic environment created by the Congress regime had been ruined by the present government, he charged.

Union Minister for Labour and Employment Mallikarjun Kharge said the Centre would be spending close to Rs 38,000 crore for skills development and employment generation during the next few years.

In his address, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily wanted the party to introspect the reasons for its poor performance in the State, while the Congress performed well in other states. KPCC Working President D K Shivakumar said State unit leaders will extensively tour the State to mobilise support for the party and expose the misdeeds of the State government.

DKS backbites

KPCC Working President D K Shivakumar’s comments in his address at the Congress convention was openly snubbed by a few senior leaders of the party in Bangalore on Sunday.

Shivakumar’s reference to CLP leader Siddaramaiah as a new entrant to the party, who had gone beyond community lines to become the leader of the party did not go down well with the latter.

In his turn, Siddaramaiah making a direct reference to Shivakumar said, “I have never associated myself with any community in my political career. Also, I will not allow for such doubts to creep in.” Shivakumar put his head down and smiled.

Earlier, Shivakumar was at the receiving end of Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily.
Making a reference to Shivakumar’s statement that the Centre should nominate only those recommended by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee to Central Boards and Corporations in the State, Moily remarked, “When you send the list, make sure those who worked against the party during the Lok Sabha polls are not included.”

Fall guys

The attempt of the Congress leadership to show off their strength ahead of the BBMP polls also thoroughly tested their vocal chords. At the felicitation ceremony , cronies who wanted to take centre-stage, did just that.

Despite repeatedly being rebuffed by senior Congress leaders, the over-exuberant supporters fell over one another to get a piece of the action. When the repeated straining of the vocal chords did not work, some leaders literally took it into their own hands and shoved the  party-workers.

Restless workers

Thousands of Cong workers from all over the State came to show off their unity at the ceremony. But, while the unity was extracted out of them by their leaders, restlessness is what came naturally to them. Large numbers walked in and out of the venue even as Union ministers S M Krishna and Moily were trying to rev up the emotions of those present.

Naseer a party worker from Shanthi Nagar said “Nothing big is going to happen while I am outside, I have come for some snacks and I will get back.”

Comments (+)