BENGALURU: With the Congress party’s internal sample survey in Karnataka on 2023 assembly polls reportedly giving some hope for the party to come back to power but with a warning that the internal bickering may cost it dearly, party leader Rahul Gandhi held marathon meetings with KPCC president DK Shivakumar and the Leader of Opposition in Karnataka assembly Siddaramaiah on Tuesday and Wednesday in the national capital.
The meeting comes in the wake of inputs given by Sunil Kanugol, a former colleague of poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who joined AICC in March and was assigned the job of Karnataka’s 2023 poll strategist.
Kanugol had got a sample survey of all the 224 assembly constituencies of the state done by an external agency which has given the Congress 110 seats, three short of a simple majority, sources told TNIE.
If the internal squabbles within the party continues, the party may face a drubbing and hence Rahul did not hesitate to call both senior Karnataka Congress leaders whose supporters have been pitching for their leaders, especially Siddarmaiah, to be made the CM face of the party.
AICC general secretaries Randeep Singh Surjewala and K C Venugopal were preset at the meeting for three hours on Tuesday. Kanugol was also present and it was reportedly decided that the party should go to the polls under a collective leadership as announcing a CM candidate may boomerang as it happened in the case of Punjab.
On Wednesday, Rahul held one-on-one meetings with Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar for half-an-hour each at his residence. The details of the meetings were not immediately known. Apart from Kanugol’s survey, Shivakumar has got a survey done on his own which gives a majority to the party and Siddaramaiah is also getting a survey done, sources said. Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah said he has invited Rahul for his 75th birthday celebrations which will be held at Davanagere on August 3.
Rahman Khan defers disciplinary action against Seetharam
Bengaluru: As both Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and KPCC president DK Shivakumar are in New Delhi, former Union minister K Rahman Khan has deferred taking a decision on issuing a notice to former minister MR Seetharam for holding a meeting with his supporters recently. Sources said Shivakumar will return to Bengaluru only after attending to the summons of the Enforcement Directorate on July 1.
“Since the party president is away from the state, I will not take any decision in his absence,” Khan told TNIE. Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah, who will return from the national capital on Thursday, is expected to meet Seetharam at his residence to convince him not to decide on his political future in a hurry, the sources added. Siddaramaiah’s supporters, including Kolar MLA K Srinivasa Gowda, who was expelled from JDS, former Mulbagal MLA Kothur Manjunath and former Chintamani MLA Dr MC Sudhakar joined Congress in the presence of Rahul in New Delhi on Wednesday.