Cong talks tough against dissidence, warns rebels

Wary of dissidence and the threat of sabotage, the Congress on Friday warned party cadre of "strong disciplinary action" if they were found to be working against the Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka.  DH file photo

Wary of dissidence and the threat of sabotage, the Congress on Friday warned party cadre of "strong disciplinary action" if they were found to be working against the Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka. 

"Those Congress leaders working against the Congress-JD(S) alliance candidates, especially the JD(S) candidate, I'm categorically saying they will face strong disciplinary action. Those working to help the BJP or independents supported by the BJP have no place in the Congress," AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal said after holding a discussion with Congress ministers. 

Congress rank and file have a broader interest, which is "to defeat the BJP at any cost and reduce the BJP's numbers," he said. 

Congress faces the challenge of convincing its grassroots machinery to work in tandem with the JD(S), a party that has been a bitter rival for decades. "Everywhere Congress workers are complaining. Small issues are there (between the two parties). Not we're confident...we're patching up everything," Venugopal said. 

In the meeting, Venugopal asked ministers to ensure coordination with JD(S) in the districts they are in charge of. Venugopal asked them to involve JD(S) workers in campaigns, and that they draw up strategies to counter the BJP at the local level. 

Karnataka has 28 seats of which the Congress is contesting 21 and the rest seven will be fought by the JD(S) as part of the pre-poll alliance. Karnataka will have polls on April 18 and April 23. 

On March 31, the alliance will sound the poll bugle by a joint campaign that will be launched by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and JD(S) national president HD Deve Gowda at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre on Tumakuru Road near Bengaluru city. 

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Cong talks tough against dissidence, warns rebels

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