Dinesh Gundu Rao to take charge as KPCC prez on July 11

Dinesh Gundu Rao to take charge as KPCC prez on July 11

Dinesh Gundu Rao

Preparations are in full swing for the official anointment of Dinesh Gundu Rao as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president.

Deputy Chief Minister and senior Congress leader G Parameshwara, who had served in the post for nearly eight years, will officially hand over the charge to Rao at a grand event at Palace Grounds on July 11.

The Congress on Sunday held preliminary meetings with functionaries of the Pradesh Congress Committees, block Congress committees, corporators and Bengaluru legislators and leaders. At 48, Rao becomes one of the youngest KPCC presidents. After he relinquished his post as the Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress president, Rao, a five-time MLA from Gandhinagar, has been serving as the party’s working president.

Bhalki MLA and former minister Eshwar Khandre, who has replaced Rao as the working president, too will be taking charge on the same day. While Rao is a Brahmin, Khandre is a Lingayat. Through the change of guard the Congress is signalling a generation shift, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Though AICC president Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to make it to the event, several senior Congress leaders, including K C Venugopal, Mallikarjun Kharge, Siddaramaiah, Ashok Gehlot and Ghulam Nabi Azad will participate in the event. Sources said that both Rao and Khandre will be flying to New Delhi on July 10 to invite Rahul for the ceremony. Speculations are rife that Rao might be inducted into the coordination committee of the JD(S)-Congress combine.

The coalition partners however have to sort out some technicalities before taking any such decision. As per the agreement between the coalition partners, the committee comprises five members. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah heads the panel, which also comprises Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal and JD(S) leader Danish Ali.

If an additional member has to be added, then both parties have to be in agreement of the same. A section of Congress leaders argue that the KPCC president should be part of the committee. Though Parameshwara is no more the party president, as deputy chief minister, he reserves his right to continue as a committee member.

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