BENGALURU: Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao is taking over as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president on Wednesday. Dinesh and his team have a herculean task of steering the party at a time when discontent is brewing among its senior leaders, who were left out of the coalition ministry.
A big challenge for the new team is to prepare the party for the 2019 Parliament elections. For the first time, Congress will not contest all 28 seats as its coalition partner JD(S) is likely to ask for nearly 10 seats. “Immediate priority before the new team is to prepare the party for the Parliament elections and I am confident that they will meet the party’s expectations,” AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal told The New Indian Express on Tuesday.
Outgoing KPCC president and DyCM G Parameshwara and Venugopal are working on strengthening the organisation at the grassroots level. Ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls, they are focused on putting in place booth committees. “Young leaders from across the state will be involved in the process,” he added.
Although the party had lost elections earlier, including in 2008, it had shown resilience to bounce back and form the government in 2013 under Siddaramaiah’s leadership. Its existence was never under threat. “Congress decline started in Tamil Nadu, Bihar, UP and other states after it aligned with local parties.
It never recovered to a position to contest and win elections on its own. Now, it is a defining moment in Karnataka Congress. As part of its bigger plan to take on BJP at the Centre, Congress has joined hands with JD(S). However, it has to ensure that it is not a repeat of its fate in other states,” a Congress leader said.Political analyst Prof Harish Ramaswamy said it is going to be a big challenge for the new team to consolidate the party’s base that is eroding.
Expect heavy traffic in city today
In view of the function at Tripuravasini where new Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao will take charge, heavy traffic congestion is expected near Palace Grounds on Wednesday. Mekhri Circle, Jayamahal Road, Goraguntepalya Junction, Outer Ring Road, Hebbal Flyover, Ballari Road, Banashankari, Jayanagar, RV Junction, Lalbagh West Gate, Minerva Circle, JC Road, Town Hall, KG Road, Mysore Bank Circle, Palace Road, Basaveswara Circle, Old High Grounds Junction, Cantonment area, Dairy Circle and Silk Board Junction among other roads.