Congress President To Decide Future Action After 2 Karnataka State Leaders Resign


As uncertainty looms over the Karnataka Congress party, AICC Secretary KC Venugopal said the party's national President will decide on the next course of action

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Updated On:

As uncertainty looms large over the Karnataka Congress with two of its top leaders - President and CLP leader resigning after the assembly bypolls rout, AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal on Tuesday said the party's national president will decide on the next course of action.

"Actually it is good in politics to take the moral responsibility of the defeat (and to resign) because this defeat is disappointing," he said. Speaking to reporters in Delhi, he accused the BJP of using money, muscle power, and the government machinery during the bypolls, which led to the Congress' debacle.

"But debacle is a debacle. They have taken moral responsibility... it is well and good. I appreciate their stand. Definitely the Congress President will make a decision on what next," he added.

READ | Did Siddaramaiah’s Statement Of No Tie-up With JDS Cost Congress The Karnataka Bypolls?

Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and Karnataka state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao on Monday quit their posts soon after the party's drubbing. The party won only two seats, as against 12 it held of the 15 which went to the bypolls on December 5. Both tendered their resignations to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, "citing unsatisfactory results."

On reports about his resignation as General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka, Venugopal said being put in charge of the state was an additional charge for him, along with General Secretary, Organisation. He said he had requested the party president to relieve him from the post after the Lok Sabha polls and she would take a call.

Meanwhile, sources said those loyal to Siddaramaiah were mulling requesting the Congress President not to accept his resignation by highlighting how much he was needed to steer the party.

READ | BIG: Smashed in bypolls, Siddaramaiah quits as Karnataka LoP & CLP chief; Gundurao too

Siddaramaiah and Rao blamed for the party's failure

Congress leaders like Satish Jarkiholi and MB Patil on Tuesday noted that Siddaramaiah alone cannot be held responsible for the party debacle. This, even as several senior Congress leaders reportedly complained to the high command against Siddaramaiah and Rao, holding them responsible for the party's debacle, they said, adding that they are likely to soon meet Sonia Gandhi.

There had been growing resentment in Congress against Siddaramaiah and Rao, especially by senior leaders KH Muniyappa and B K Hariprasad, over their "unilateral style of functioning" and accountability not being fixed for the party's debacle in successive polls.

This is the fourth consecutive election the Congress has lost under Siddaramaiah after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, 2018 assembly election and 2019 Parliamentary election. Some senior leaders did not actively participate in the campaigning, upset over the selection of candidates and handling of the bypolls by Siddaramaiah and Rao, considered his loyal.

READ | Karnataka Bypolls: Here's How The 13 MLAs That Swapped Congress For BJP Fared

Unexpected results

Meanwhile, KPCC Working President Eshwar Khandre, senior leaders H K Patil and Ramesh Kumar held discussions on the developments in the party and the resignations on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters, Patil said there was a need for the party to introspect as the results were not in line with their expectations.

Stating that such resignations were natural after a defeat and the high command would take a call on what to do next, he did not respond directly to a question about him aspiring for the position that Siddaramaiah held.

Patil and G Parameshwara are seen as key contenders against Siddaramaiah for the post of CLP leader and leader of the Opposition Muniyappa and senior party leader D K Shivakumar are being seen as the top contenders for the KPCC President's post that Rao has resigned from.

READ | Mumbai BJP workers celebrate party's victory in Karnataka by-elections

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