The controversy relating to alleged misuse of funds collected for flood relief by the Congress in Karnataka has brought to the fore factionalism in the party with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president R.V. Deshpande accusing KPCC working president D.K. Shivakumar of “damaging the party's image” by his irresponsible public utterances.

A day after Mr. Shivakumar shocked the party's rank and file by admitting publicly that there was a prima facie case of misuse of funds collected for flood relief and apologise to the people of the State, an upset Deshpande lashed out at Mr. Shivakumar.

Mr. Deshpande, who has stoutly denied any misuse of the funds, wondered aloud why Mr. Shivakumar did not think it fit to call him over phone and find out the truth before going public with his statements. Meanwhile, a known Shivakumar-baiter and former MP Tejaswini too attacked the KPCC working president. Seeking Mr. Shivakumar's immediate resignation, the former MP said the Congress was suffering on account of certain partymen, who are supported by the BJP and are acting as “Mir Saadiqs”.

The wrangling in the KPCC comes even as the former Union Minister and AICC secretary Oscar Fernandes said a detailed report on allegation that KPCC had misappropriated money and material collected from donors and the public for providing relief to the flood-affected people of north Karnataka would be submitted to the high command.

Congress sources told The Hindu that supporters of Mr. Deshpande met Mr. Oscar and lodged a complaint against Mr. Shivakumar for hatching a conspiracy to defame the KPCC chief.