Karnataka to play a key role in Congress revival like it did in 1977: Koliwad

When Indira Gandhi lost in 1977, it was Karnataka that helped her regain foot hold in country's polity, the state will do the same this time, says senior Congress leader Koliwad.

Published: 09th April 2018 11:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2018 11:43 AM   |  A+A-

Congress flag (Photo | PTI)


KARNATAKA: True its role in the history, Karnataka will play a dominant role in the resurrection of the Congress at the national level, a Congress veteran has sad Karnataka had always played a key role in igniting the spirit of Congress party and put it back on "revival track".

It will do the same during and after the May 12 Assembly polls, Speaker of the outgoing Assembly and senior Congress leader K B Koliwad told UNI on Monday.

"There is already the history, whenever the Congress is in trouble, it is only the Karnataka state that revives the party. Look at the Congress history, when Indira Gandhi lost in 1977, it was Karnataka that helped her regain foot hold in country's polity. Our state will do the same this time too," he said.

"Elections in Karnataka is very crucial," he said adding "and I believe Congress will win with a thumping majority and win more seats than what we achieved in 2013''.

Once the Karnataka polls are over, the future course of movement in the national politics would be decided by the "results" in the state, he said.

"The Congress party is a secular party and backward and downtrodden people can always bank on it. Social justice is a basic Congress principle. It is natural therefore that the Congress party will come again in the state," he said.

He said a big fuss was being made by certain elements within the party Congress about Chief Minister Siddaramaiah being an "outsider".

This is unwarranted and often blown out of proportion.

"When a man accepts the principles of the party and comes to our party, he is a Congressman. If he does not abide by Congress principles or betrays party's principles, then there can be a problem. Siddaramaiah has not done anything like that" he added.

"There may be occasions when some leaders would say something. But in principle no Congress leader is opposed to the Chief Minister," he said.

To a question he said, "There is no much difference between communists and the Congress. From the beginning, the goal of both the parties are almost same.

Congress would like to achieve the goal gradually; but the communists would be in hurry, they would like to achieve their goals immediately.

Ultimate aim is the same. There is no clash at all".

However, he skirted a direct reply on the controversies sparked off by certain elements in the party like a tweet from senior Congress leader and former Union Minister M Veerappa Moily and said all row related to that episode has been settled.

"I am the senior most Congressman in Karnataka. I first became MLA in 1972 at the age of 26, now I am 74. I was the youngest MLA and now the oldest MLA. The outsider tag is thus not appropriate," he said.

Mr Koliwad, who has won the Ranibennur seat five times - 1972, 1985, 1989, 1999 and 2013, says "the Chief Minister is working sensibly" and the party will reap the benefit of the same.

Answering a question, he slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what he said unsatisfactory functioning of the central government under him.

"With lot of due respect for the Prime Minister's Office, I will say Modi does not deliver what he speaks. Modi only gives assurances and never implements them. Let BJP people point out one area of Modi government's performance which has benefited the people," he said.

His government's decision on demonetisation has also hurt national economy and as many as 180 people died standing in the long queues.

"This was a one man decision, the cabinet was not consulted and even the Reserve Bank of India was also not consulted," he remarked.

Answering a question, Mr Koliwad said it would not be proper to say that his assembly segment is a "a Lingayat stronghold".

The Ranibennur assembly seat has 2.23 lakh voters and out of that around 80,000 are Lingayats.

The Speaker, however, contended: "I contest this presumption that our constituency is Lingayat stronghold. From 1972 I am in politics here. I am a minority man here. As a Reddy, my population is around 10,000 and the electorate would be around 7000. But the people have been voting for me. Five times I have been elected here starting from 1972. Lingayats have been supporting me consistently".

In this context, he asserted, "Caste is not vital. It can help sometimes. But in politics other things also count. Relationship of the candidate with his electorate is most important thing".


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