- The newly appointed AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal's team is ona visit to Karnataka
- Venugopal has replaced Digvijay Singh and was handpicked by AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi
- Despite complaints from party workers Venugopal hailed Siddaramaiah as the "undisputed" backward classes leader
Within hours of Venugopal's arrival, speculation was rife that several office bearers and district presidents, who he met with, have aired their contentions against Siddaramaiah and the KPCC president and Home Minister G Parameshwara.
There were strong rumours that Siddaramaiah's leadership was contended, with demands of facing the upcoming elections under a collective leadership. The Siddaramaiah camp however is not unruffled by this development within the party itself.
Party insiders said that there was no way of changing the high command's decision at this juncture, especially after Siddaramaiah proved his mettle during the recently concluded Gundlupet and Nanjangud by polls.
Hailing him as the "undisputed" backward classes leader, the Siddaramaiah camp said that there was a section which was "engineering" these rumours, desperately hoping to dent the Kuruba leader's prospects.
Venugopal himself had a few good words for Siddaramaiah. "Siddaramaiah is a dynamic leader. His government has been offering good governance," he added. Like in case of Siddaramaiah, there were also rumours about complaints against Parameshwara before the team.
A large section of the party leaders are unhappy with the party having continued Parameshwara as the KPCC chief, and for also having given him the dual responsibility of holding a cabinet portfolio.
Countering his detractors, Parameshwara on Monday said that he was discharging dual responsibilities, only because his political bosses thought him to be a capable leader. He also said that he would like to continue for the second term, if the party gives him an opportunity.
Parameshwara, a Dalit leader, has been serving as the KPCC chief for over six years, The party has not made any attempts to replace him so far, which has become a bone of contention among other leaders.
Venugopal will be in Bengaluru for the next three days. He will meet with legislators, ministers, MPs, Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara during the course of the next two days.
Who is Venugopal?
- Two time MP from Kerala (Alappuzah). Has headed National Students Union of India and Indian Youth Congress. Has served as a minister in the Ooman Chandy government (2004-06). In 2009 he was made the minister of state for Civil Aviation
- AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, replacing Digvijay Singh
- Was handpicked by AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi
Challenges before him
- With just 11 months left for the polls, he has to reorganise the party and prepare it for the polls
- Has to revamp the entire party structure by appointing new office bearers
- Has to settle the question of the KPCC leadership - whether to continue with the existing arrangement or replace G Parameshwara
- The programmes to be chalked out to counter BJP and the JD(S) by making the right noises during the run up to the elections
- Ensure the party has the grassroots presence
The new team
Venugopal is assisted by four secretaries - Manickam Tagore (Tamil Nadu), P C Vishnunadh (Kerala), Madhu Yakshi Goud (Hyderabad), Sake Sailajanath (Andhra Pradesh).
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:41 PM IST