Cong leaders head to Delhi amid crisis post bypolls

Cong leaders head to Delhi amid crisis post bypolls

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah

Top Congress leaders are slated to head to Delhi on Thursday and are likely to hold talks with the high command on the prevailing crisis in the party after its dismal performance in the recent bypolls. 

The party is battling a leadership crisis after former chief minister Siddaramaiah resigned as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and as Leader of the Opposition owning moral responsibility after the BJP won 12 out of the 15 constituencies in the bypolls; the Congress won just two seats.

Also, Dinesh Gundu Rao stepped down as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president. 

A group of senior Congress leaders has urged the high command to accept their resignations immediately. 

According to sources, senior leader K H Muniyappa has evinced interest in becoming the KPCC president, a post for which former minister D K Shivakumar is said to be the front runner. 

Muniyappa’s meeting with JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda was seen as his outreach towards Gowda who is believed to have a good rapport with AICC president Sonia Gandhi. “I came to enquire about Gowda’s health,” Muniyappa said. “I am not lobbying (to become KPCC president). Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi know me. I’ll abide by whatever the high command decides.”

KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre said party leaders would go to Delhi on Thursday ahead of the Bharat Bachao rally on December 14. Besides Khandre, other leaders including Rao, Shivakumar, Muniyappa, M Veerappa Moily and others will join the delegation, sources said. 

“Rao has resigned as the KPCC president. The question of a replacement will arise only after the resignation is accepted,” Khandre said.

It is also speculated that the high command may ask Siddaramaiah to continue as LoP, while naming someone else as the CLP leader. 

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