BENGALURU: Congress State chief DK Shivakumar says he is working to strengthen the party workers who are their backbone. In an interview with The New Sunday Express, the new chief who is set to take over officially soon gives his mantra for rebuilding the party and speaks of the challenging corona times.
Congress’ fortunes are on the wane since the 2018 assembly elections and the party fared badly in parliamentary elections too. How do you plan to arrest the trend?
I admit our seats and vote share came down in the recent elections as we faced a tsunami. But let us remember we have a strong support base and a great legacy. Large sections of people have gone away from us, we are working to bring them back. I am confident that the party’s collective leadership will do well. I am working to strengthen the party workers who are our backbone and they will bring
the party back to power.
Your party once attracted the best and the brightest, but no more. How do you propose to reverse that?
I’m essentially a farmer, though I received my education in Bengaluru. The best and the brightest are still with us and we still attract the best talent. But overall we cannot leave out the backward areas, we are keenly interested in developing the most underdeveloped areas so they too get a chance to be among the best and brightest in the State.
The 14 MLAs who joined BJP has meant the party cadres have gone with them. Even earlier, whenever your MLAs/MLCs joined BJP, you have lost substantial cadres and party workers.
We have learnt a lesson. They backstabbed us and left us, after making use of us. The voice of the party worker should be the voice of the leader. I want to be a party worker first, a KPCC president next. Senior leaders met and decided that we should turn the Congress into a cadre-based party, where workers and booth-level leaders are most important.
They say Congressmen lack the drive to do well?
If you mean that we are not working hard to be in power, let me tell you that power is not as important as ideology. And people’s welfare is more important. Let us remember, Congress’ vision is the nation’s vision.
Why, for a national party like yours, the social media team is no match for BJP’s?
BJP has access to official machinery, money power and political power. I do agree we could have done better and used our potential in the past. I understand the importance of social media. We will certainly do well on this front.
How are you leading the party through these unprecedented COVID times?
Congress understands that in this struggle against COVID, the lives of people are of paramount importance, but so is the economy. We have put together a Vision Karnataka team. We will give this team’s recommendations to the government. This administration’s inefficiency was exposed when they took many U-turns on many major decisions.