Leaders of the Congress in Karnataka have been instructed by the party leadership to refrain from voicing opinions on who would be the next chief minister and to concentrate on fighting the ruling BJP in the state, said AICC general secretary K C Venugopal.
The Congress leadership’s call to avoid talking about the next Karnataka chief minister comes amid an internal fight in the party between senior leader Siddaramaiah and its state unit chief D K Shivakumar to project themselves as the next CM of the state.
The instructions were delivered at a meeting of a newly-constituted Political Affairs Committee (PAC) for the state held in Hubbali on Tuesday in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi. The PAC with 36 senior state Congress leaders was constituted as part of decisions taken at the recent AICC meeting held in Udaipur. The PAC is intended to promote collective leadership in the Congress party.
Speaking after the PAC meeting, Venugopal said: “No one should make statements on the leadership issue. The party leaders have decided not to voice opinions in public about the internal matters of the party,” said Venugopal.
“We have to fight the BJP government’s anti-people policies in one voice,” added Venugopal.
The Congress leaders have decided to take the line that the leadership issue in the party would be decided by the MLAs elected from the party after the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election.
Supporters of Siddaramaiah, who is the leader of the opposition in the state legislature, are organising a grand celebration for his 75th birthday on Wednesday in what is being seen as an attempt to project him as a mass leader in Karnataka and the Congress.
Rahul Gandhi will attend Siddaramaiah’s birthday celebration but the Congress decided to hold a PAC meeting before that to prevent the internal fights that may emerge at the event.