The next few days will see hectic activities in the camps of the state Congress and the BJP, as both parties have lined up back-to-back meetings to chalk out strategies to gear up for the upcoming Assembly elections. Riding high on its recent victories in Nanjangud and Gundlupet, the state Congress is now on a mission to retain power in Karnataka. Newly appointed All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary, in charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal, along with his team of four secretaries, scheduled to arrive in Bengaluru next week, will camp in the City from May 8 to 10 to carry out this exercise.

To take stock of the situation, the team will hold meetings  and one on one dialogues with the 28 member coordination committee, officer bearers, district presidents, ministers, legislators, and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president G Parameshwara and its Working President Dinesh Gundu Rao.

This will be the team's maiden visit to Karnataka, after the ouster of Digvijay Singh, who was earlier managing the party's activities in the state. According to Dinesh Gundu Rao, the team will garner feedback from the leaders and functionaries on various issues, including the internal differences in the party, electoral hurdles, anti incumbency and the appointment of the KPCC president.

"Of course, one of the important mandates given to the team is to address the appointment of the KPCC president. The team will definitely focus on this matter by interacting with both the mid-level and senior leaders. It will subsequently submit a report to the high command," added Rao. Including Venugopal, the secretaries -- Manickam Tagore (Tamil Nadu), P C Vishnunadh (Kerala), Madhu Yakshi Goud (Hyderabad), Sake Sailajanath (Andhra Pradesh), all are said to be hardcore ground level workers of the party. They are also said to have a good understanding of the political dynamics in Karnataka. They will be frequenting the state to start early preparations for the elections.

The team has a lot to prove, given that a lot is at stake for the Congress, which is now ruling in a handful of states in the country.

Feud in BJP

Though the BJP is feeling celebratory and jubilant given its steadfast growth in various parts of the country, in Karnataka, the party has been left red-faced, given the growing internal differences. The party is holding its executive meeting in Mysuru on May 6 and 7. However, it will be interesting to see if the leaders associated with the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade, will attend the meeting. More than 20 leaders and functionaries, including K S Eshwarappa have associated themselves with the brigade. The brigade itself is organising a workshop in Raichur on May 8.

The simmering differences between Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa show no sign of abating, though both leaders have agreed to not wash dirty linen in public. However, Yeddyurappa's move to bring in former Congress leader V Srinivas Prasad as the Vice President of the party, has further agitated the Eshwarappa camp. The brigade members, along with the 'Save BJP' faction are said to be holding  a meeting on May 5 to decide whether to attend the meeting in Mysuru or not. If it is decided to attend the meeting, then strategies will be drawn up to raise all the contentious issues.

BJP MLC Somanna Bevinmarad (Eshwarappa camp), said that if given an opportunity, he would raise all the issues which has upset old timers in the party. "I will attend the meeting. But, I am doubtful if the Brigade members will be given the platform to air our grievances. It is unfortunate that Santhosh Kumar's name has been dragged into all this. As a pracharak, he has worked selflessly for the party all these years. Yeddyurappa continues to take unilateral decisions, which does not bode well for the party," he added.