Dinesh Gundu Rao’s resignation came after the Congress’ abysmal performance in the Karnataka bye-polls, where the party won only two of the 15 seats.

news Politics Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 18:36

Intense lobbying has begun for the post of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President after Dinesh Gundu Rao resigned on Monday. Dinesh Gundu Rao’s resignation came after the Congress’ abysmal performance in the Karnataka bye-polls held in 15 segments, where the party won only two of the 15 seats.

Sources close to DK Shivakumar, the former Water Resources Minister, say that he is lobbying for the post of the KPCC President. Party insiders say that DK Shivakumar held a telephonic conversation with Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel, who is also an advisor to interim President of the All India Congress Committee, Sonia Gandhi.

“Shivakumar has informed Ahmed Patel that he is capable of taking care of the party and building it from ground up. There are many important posts that are vacant and he has assured the high command that he can be trusted with the responsibility,” the source said.

This is not the first time DK Shivakumar has lobbied for the post of KPCC President. In July 2018, when former Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara resigned from the post of KPCC President, DK Shivakumar had lobbied for the post. However, at the time, there were many warring factions within the party, who wanted their candidate to become the President. This had led the party to choose Dinesh Gundu Rao, a neutral figure, hoping that his ‘please-all nature’ would help quell the rebellion.

Ahead of Dinesh Gundu Rao’s resignation, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, too, had resigned as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP). Siddaramaiah and Dinesh Gundu Rao had both accepted moral responsibility for the party’s defeat in the state.

“DK Shivakumar was kept out at the behest of Siddaramaiah (former CM). Siddaramaiah has chosen to take a step back even though many are asking the high command to not accept his resignation and reinstate him as the CLP leader. There is a position open for aspirants to take over and Shivakumar is making use of it,” the source said.

Shivakumar is flying to New Delhi on Thursday to hold talks with his attorneys in connection with the Enforcement Directorate’s money laundering case against him. Sources say that Shivakumar is likely to meet the high command and discuss his candidature as the KPCC President too.