MYSURU: With the exit of Lingayat strongman BS Yediyurappa and differences cropping among the senior BJP leaders ahead of the formation of a new cabinet, the Karnataka Congress has got into the act, chanting the unity mantra, while trying to exploit the prevailing situation.
The Congress, which took to the streets against rising fuel prices, has held huge back-to-back divisional-level meetings in Hubbali and Mysuru to raise the morale among party leaders and workers. Sensing a widow of opportunity for the party in Karnataka, All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala is leading from the front, taking all leaders together in an attempt to put a lid on the issue of the party’s chief ministerial candidate, rejuvenate the party and storm back to power on its own strength.
The Congress sees an opportunity with fissures growing in the BJP, especially among the seniors, which may worsen after the much-awaited cabinet formation. The party is trying to work to its advantage the discontentment among the Lingayats and Yediyurappa’s supporters over his displacement and is also keeping a watch on how successful the new Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will be.
The party has taken up aggressive campaigns against the poor Covid-19 management and also the government’s failure in handling the flood situation which has affected thousands of families in nine districts, including 32,000 people in Belagavi district alone.
Surjewala, who has been camping in the state, has been giving pep talks to state leaders on working unitedly and on issues to be raised at public platforms. He has also been hearing out block-level leaders individually and is keen on utilizing the services of senior and prominent leaders during the KPCC revamp, with an eye on dominant communities, SCs, BCs, and minorities.
“We will go to the people on the failures of the government in Covid management. What was Yediyurappa, Bommai or Prime Minister Narendra Modi doing when people were gasping for oxygen, beds or medical care?” he asked.
Keen to win over the dominant Lingayat community, the Congress has accused the BJP of dumping seniors after using them for many years. The reshuffle in the Union Cabinet is an admittance of corruption and the BJP is now trying for a makeover by bringing in new faces, the Congress claimed.