Action on leaders will hurt, state Cong tells top brass

Action on leaders will hurt, state Cong tells top brass

Despite former prime minister H D Deve Gowda putting pressure on the Congress to rein in its leaders for failure to work for JD(S) candidates in Mandya, Tumakuru and Hassan Lok Sabha seats, state Congress leaders have cautioned the top brass that taking any action against its own leaders will sound death knell to the party in these regions.

With the lack of coordination among JD(S)-Congress workers openly visible in southern Karnataka, JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda had sought AICC president Rahul Gandhi's intervention to ensure Congress leaders help in the victory of JD(S) candidates.

Even the JD(S) leadership is learnt to have complained to the Congress high command alleging that some of senior Congress leaders in the state unit were encouraging its district leaders to work against JD(S) candidates.

Though AICC general secretary in-charge Karnataka K C Venugopal conveyed JD(S) leadership's concern to former chief minister Siddaramaiah and Pradesh Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao, the state leaders have clearly told them that they can only request the district leaders including MLAs or former MLAs to campaign for JD(S) candidates.

However, taking action against leaders for not falling in the party line would harm the party in the long run, the state leaders are learnt to have told the party top brass, sources said.

The state leaders also conveyed that, like JD(S), southern Karnataka is also a bastion for Congress. "If Congress takes take action against its leaders, they will join BJP. Such decision would help only BJP to expand its base in this region," sources said.

Since JD(S) and Congress were the political rivals in the state for all these years, it would be difficult to convince the grassroots workers to join hands together. "If we keep taking action against our leaders, the entire organisation will wipe out," the leaders learnt to have conveyed its top brass.

On the other hand, the Congress leaders also brought to the notice of their party top brass about JD(S) non-cooperation for Congress candidates in many places including Mysuru, Chikkaballapura and Kolar districts.