Bengaluru: The Congress on Wednesday dissolved its Karnataka unit in what could be the start of a major overhaul of the national party almost a month after it was routed in the Lok Sabha elections.
“The AICC (All India Congress Committee) has decided to dissolve the present committee of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee," the body said in a statement.
However, the state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao and working president Eshwar Khandre will continue in their posts, the statement added.
Though the party put up a dismal performance almost across the country, the Congress appears to have started its overhauling exercise from Karnataka where it has faced innumerable challenges—from within its own ranks and from its ruling coalition partner Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S). The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 25 out of the 28 parliamentary seats in the state.
“It was a very big committee and this is an exercise to reorganize the committee across the state and at all levels," Dinesh Gundu Rao said.
He added that the party had been thinking on these lines and that the exercise will weed out inactive elements and replace them with those who have worked for the interests of the Congress in Karnataka.
Khandre said the overhaul would make the committee more compact and effective. Around 300 office-bearers who include vice-presidents, secretaries, general secretaries and district presidents will be impacted.
The Congress’ alliance with the JD(S) in Karnataka had added to its problems during the Lok Sabha campaign where disenchanted workers and leaders from both sides were unable to overcome differences, resulting in votes shifting to the BJP even in regions like south Karnataka where the saffron outfit had little ground presence. These differences reduced their tally to just one each. Since then, the two parties have reconciled their differences and continue to cling to power despite growing dissent within the Congress ranks.
The alliance inducted two independent legislators into the H.D.Kumaraswamy-led cabinet to stop them from moving to the BJP. In the process, the party managed to rekindle some of the dormant dissent among its senior leaders.
Meanwhile, R. Roshan Baig, the legislator from Shivaji Nagar in Bengaluru, hit out at the Congress on Wednesday alleging that he was being targeted for speaking the truth against the top brass in the state.
Baig was suspended from the party on Tuesday after he had blamed the KPCC president, former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and AICC general secretary K.C.Venugopal, for what he called the “flop show" in parliamentary elections in Karnataka.