BENGALURU: The date might not be set but the groundwork is already being laid for the first of its kind, digitally-enabled, decentralised event for DK Shivakumar to take charge as the president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. At a cost of about Rs 10,000 per gram panchayat and ward-level event, the massive digital event is expected to cost a little over Rs 10 crore.
Much like the event itself, the cost too, Congress insiders say, is going to be decentralised with local leaders pitching in for the event instead of spending from the party fund. Shivakumar’s team is coordinating with 37 district divisions, 6,021 gram panchayats, 462 blocks and 5,007 wards in 281 municipalities and corporations across the State to facilitate the digital event.
“I want party workers from every nook and corner of the State to join me in taking a pledge for the party,” Shivakumar had told The New Indian Express during an interaction explaining his vision. Efforts are on to make arrangements for gatherings of some 100-150 party workers, set up digitally connected LED screens, identify and train one tech-savvy digital youth to connect from each panchayat and raise funds from local leaders to fund the event. In places where internet network is likely to be an issue, television sets will be set up so workers can witness Shivakumar taking charge as KPCC chief.
Huge screens are already set up outside the KPCC office in Bengaluru as trial run for the big event. According to a party insider in-charge of the event, even if a few wards are clubbed together, the massive digital event could cost anywhere between Rs 9 and Rs 10 crore. Shivakumar had first planned to hold the event on May 31 but had to cancel it owing to the Karnataka government’s decision to observe ‘Sunday curfews’.
The event was then scheduled to take place on June 7 but with the Ministry of Home Affairs extending its ban on political events till June 30 owing to Covid-19 lockdown, it was postponed indefinitely. Hoping that third time they will be lucky, Shivakumar --- despite there being no clarity on the date of the event -- has asked block presidents to prepare for the swearing-in ceremony. A mock-up trial run of the event connecting Shivakumar with Block Congress presidents via zoom conference is planned on June 7.