Karnataka

Lack of coordination all too visible in Congress

Former Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara campaigning in Hunsur on Monday. Senior Congress leaders are learnt to be sulking at being brushed aside during candidate selection.

Former Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara campaigning in Hunsur on Monday. Senior Congress leaders are learnt to be sulking at being brushed aside during candidate selection.  

K.H. Muniyappa shoots off letter to Sonia Gandhi

As campaigning for the bypolls to 15 Assembly constituencies in the State gathered steam, the Congress seems to have been affected by lack of coordination among its senior leaders.

Senior leader K.H. Muniyappa on Monday dashed off a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi alleging that many of the senior leaders were excluded from campaigns and sought their inclusion in the list of “star campaigners.”

While leaders close to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah are seen in the campaign work for the party candidates, some of the senior leaders, allegedly upset at being “ignored”, are not putting their best efforts for the party’s cause, party sources said. Senior leaders, including former Ministers Mr. Muniyappa, D.K. Shivakumar, G. Parameshwara, and B.K. Hariprasad, among others, are learnt to be sulking at being brushed aside during candidate selection.

Though sulking, another former Minister H.K. Patil, who has been given charge of Hirekrur, has confined himself to the constituency, sources said. Another leader unhappy with the Congress’s State unit, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, is currently involved in Maharashtra politics.

‘We are united’

On Monday, Mr. Parameshwara, who went to Hunsur constituency, downplayed the differences stating that all the party leaders were united in the cause to defeat those who had deserted the party. Sources close to Mr. Siddaramaiah said that all the party leaders are now on the ground campaigning for candidates, citing Mr. Shivakumar and Mr. Parameshwara electioneering for the party candidates.

However, multiple sources in the party differed with the assessment. “The simmering differences over original Congressmen and migrants has essentially continued. Senior leaders or original Congressmen feel slighted as most of their advice on candidate selection was ignored. Also, they are not being invited or deployed for electioneering work by the Leader of the Opposition,” Congress sources said.

“Mr. Parameshwara or Mr. Shivakumar are making appearances only for optics. They are neither involving in drafting strategy nor serious campaigning,” sources said. “Both Mr. Shivakumar and Mr. Parameshwara have ongoing I-T cases as an alibi to recuse themselves from serious campaigns.”

Also, the leaders who have been put in charge of overseeing campaign and other election work are seen as Mr. Siddaramaiah’s followers. In all the 15 constituencies, the “original Congressmen” in the camp opposed to Mr. Siddaramaiah have not found place, sources pointed out. “The high command is aware of the intense differences between leaders that could mar the campaign. However, Maharashtra politics has taken over the mind space,” another party source said.

DKS barely there

Known as an efficient organiser, Mr. Shivakumar, who has been seen only in Chickballapur and Hoskote that have a sizeable Vokkaligas to which he belongs to, has not been roped in for other election work. Sources close to him said that he was miffed that none of the three candidates he had proposed found a place in the final list. “His opinion was not considered nor has any responsibility been given. He has not been invited for campaigns. In his personal capacity, he went to two constituencies for campaign after the candidates sought his help,” sources said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 10:24:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/lack-of-coordination-all-too-visible-in-congress/article30079601.ece

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