Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakumar on Monday alleged "political conspiracy" as his official takeover of the party's reigns was postponed for the second time due to the government imposing restrictions on political events temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The official takeover event of KPCC President "Pratigna" was scheduled to take place on June 7.
"...We had requested for permission from the Chief Minister, DG of Police and City Police Commissioner to organise the event on June 7, but as per the recent central and state guidelines, political events have been banned," Shivakumar said.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said the event cannot be held on June 7 as planned, for which preparations were on.
"Despite requesting permission for about 150 people here and people at different places like panchayats and wards, they did not give us permission. There is a clear political conspiracy behind it...Still respecting the centre and the state government, we will not violate the rules, as we are also lawmakers," he said.
Shivakumar, however, appealed to party workers to continue with the preparations, stating that date may change, but the event would be held.
"After the government gives permission...maybe after June 8 once the government takes a decision after assessing the situation, it will be held," he added.
Over two months after his appointment as Karnataka Congress president, Shivakumar was to take over the reigns of the party officially on May 31, but it was postponed as the government had announced a complete lockdown on Sundays, till the end of the month.
After remaining in a virtual vacuum for nearly three months, the party high command on March 11 appointed the six-time MLA, known to be the Congress' chief troubleshooter in crisis situations, replacing Dinesh Gundu Rao as the KPCC chief.
Dinesh Gundu Rao had quit the post in December after the party''s dismal show when it won only two of the 15 seats in the bye-polls.
Noting that he has been discharging his duties as KPCC chief from the date of his appointment, Shivakumar said he has been guiding the Congress workers in COVID-19 related work with cooperation from all party leaders.
"We had planned a symbolic (official takeover) event in the presence of about 150 people here (at party office), and at about 7,800 places- at all panchayats and wards by singing Vande Mataram, reading the preamble of the Constitution and hoisting the national and party flag, and to relay it on TV so that people don't gather," he added.
Shivakumar has already announced that in the days to come, he will travel across the state to meet people in distress and 'become their voice'.
To a question about senior Congress leader and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief H K Patil considering to move a privilege motion against Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri for stalling an inquiry into alleged corruption in the procurement of COVID-19 equipment, he said the matter would be discussed at the CLP (Congress Legislature Party) meeting and along with state leaders.
He also sought to know why an inquiry was being stalled by the Speaker.