THE ALL India Congress Committee (AICC) on Wednesday approved the dissolution of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), retaining only its president Dinesh Gundu Rao and working president Eshwar Khandre, in an attempt to revamp the state unit.
“The AICC has decided to dissolve the present committee of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. The president and working president remain unchanged,’’ said an AICC release signed by the general secretary in charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal.
While the request to revamp the KPCC was made before the Lok Sabha polls, the AICC has now cleared the move to strengthen the party unit, said officials. The Congress, which ruled Karnataka from 2013-18, won only one seat in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The move is expected to give Rao a greater say in managing the affairs of the party, from the state level to the booth level.
“The Congress committee in Karnataka has 400-450 members… but only a few are involved in party activities even during elections. The committee will now be revamped to make it more compact and will comprise a team reporting to the party president Dinesh Gundu Rao,’’ said a party office-bearer.
“The KPCC is currently a jumbo committee where 70 per cent of people are inactive. The former party president, G Parameshwara, was in charge for eight years and several people were added to the committee during his term. A new committee will now be created, in consultation with leaders, by the party president over the next month or so,’’ said another office-bearer.
The KPCC’s website shows that it has 21 vice-presidents, 65 general secretaries, 170 secretaries and 452 members. While the party president and working president were appointed in July 2018, most of the others have been in the committee for at least two years.
Bid to revamp, revive
Over the years, the Karnataka PCC has handed out party positions to members on the basis of their proximity to top party leaders. As a result, the state unit has assumed unwieldy proportions. With the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections triggering growing voices of dissent within the state unit, the move to revamp the KPCC is seen as an effort to revive the party.
“There are so many members but no one puts in work when required, and it is the same handful of members who are shouldering responsibility even after the polls,’’ an office-bearer said.
The revamp comes in the background of acrimony in the party over denial of positions in the JDS-Congress coalition government. One of the disgruntled MLAs, Roshan Baig, was suspended by the party on Tuesday for calling AICC general secretary K C Venugopal a “buffoon’’, former CM Siddaramaiah “arrogant’’ and state party president Dinesh Gundu Rao a “flop show’’ following the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
Several veteran leaders like Ramalinga Reddy and H K Patil have been speaking out against the functioning of the party. A bunch of younger Congress MLAs like Ramesh Jharkiholi and six to seven others have also been reportedly cosying upto the BJP in recent days as the BJP attempts to break the fragile JDS-Congress alliance in the state.