DCC Treasurer quits; infighting comes to light

CHITRADURGA NOV. 9. Fissures have appeared in the Chitradurga District unit of the Congress, with M.A. Sethuram, Treasurer, District Congress Committee (DCC), resigning from the post, as he was reportedly disgusted with the style of functioning of the committee.

In another development, the DCC has served show-cause notices on Congress councillors and associate-member councillors of the party in the Chitradurga City Municipal Council for staying away from a meeting convened by the Minister in charge of the district, K. H. Ranganath, here on Saturday last.

Party sources attribute Mr. Sethuram's resignation to the DCC higher-ups neglecting its office-bearers and not taking them into confidence in the party affairs. It is stated that the DCC higher-ups did not invite the office-bearers to two meetings convened by Mr. Ranganath. A DCC office-bearer maintains that there is no need to invite them to the meetings of the party.

The minister convened a meeting of zilla panchayat members, which a majority of the Congress members, including the President and Vice-President of the panchayat, attended. But only four Congress councillors turned up for the meeting of city municipal councillors, causing embarrassment to the minister. The President of the Chitradurga City Municipal Council, H.C. Niranjanamurthy, stayed away from the meeting.

Sources say that though Mr. Niranjanamurthy approached the minister earlier to discuss holding a meeting, Mr. Ranganath reportedly snubbed him.

Meanwhile, sources say the DCC President, G.S. Manjunath, has not yet accepted the resignation of the Treasurer. In the wake of these developments, Mr. Ranganath is reported to have summoned the Treasurer, who is a senior member of the party, to sort out the issue. Mr. Sethuram has clarified that he will remain in the Congress, and he has no difference of opinion with the minister.

Sources say many activists of the party are unhappy with the "adamant" attitude of the district minister towards party functionaries. They allege that the "dictatorial'' attitude of Mr. Ranganath in dealing with party matters and "willfull snubbing'' of party leaders including MLAs have hurt the activists and leaders.

DCC apology

The DCC has apologised to two councillors from the Opposition parties to whom it issued show-cause notices for not attending the meeting convened by Mr. Ranganath.

In the 35-member city municipal council, the Congress won 15 seats, and independents 18 seats. The BJP and Janata Dal (United) secured one seat each. The Independents joined Congress as its associate members.

The General Secretary of the DCC issued show-cause notices to the two councillors of the Opposition parties. After learning about the mistake, the DCC President reportedly wrote a letter of apology to the two councillors.

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