Factionalism To Fore As Rahul Gandhi Visits Karnataka

| Updated: 02 August, 2022 4:21 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s two-day visit to Karnataka, the old ills of factionalism has returned to hit the party as it is preparing for the upcoming state assembly elections that are scheduled to be held in May next year.

The former Congress president is scheduled to attend the birthday celebrations of former chief minister Siddharamaiah, however, the faction, that owes its allegiance to influential state unit chief DK Shivakumar, is not in favour of Gandhi scion attending the party.

Congress sources told The New Indian that Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to attend the birthday programme on the second day of his visit on Wednesday. Siddharamaiah’s supporters are using the visit to show his strength against Shivakumar’s faction.

Sources also said that the Shivakumar faction tried their best to persuade Rahul Gandhi to attend only political programmes and avoid any personal events.

In view of the same, the Shivakumar-led faction has also prepared to show its power.

The bone of contention, it seems, is the grudge that a faction of Karnataka Congress leaders, led by Shivakumar, hold against Siddharamaiah, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka assembly. They alleged that during his tenure as CM, Siddharamaiah, who has his roots in Janata Dal parties, favoured leaders who came from Janata Dal (Secular) while neglecting others.

Following the defeat of the Congress in the 2018 state assembly elections, and with the appointment of Shivakumar as Congress unit chief, the Siddharamaiah faction allege discrimination against them.

With state elections scheduled for the summer of 2023, Congress’ central leadership is looking to douse the fire that is threatening to engulf the party even before the fight begins.

According to Congress sources, Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the state and attending the birthday celebrations are viewed as an attempt to broker peace between the two factions – led by two influential leaders.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi will attend a programme in Hubli and also take part in the state unit’s political affairs committee meeting.

Rahul Gandhi is expected to deliver the message of unity and will ask both factions to bury their differences for the upcoming assembly elections next year.

During his visit, Rahul Gandhi will also visit a Lingayat mutt in the state. Incidentally, the Lingayat community is one of the dominant forces in Karnataka politics. They are traditionally aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Also Read Story

EVM manipulation allegations in Mumbai Election: Officials refute claims

AAP blames BJP for vandalizing Delhi Jal Board office amid water crisis protest

Union Home Minister chairs high-level J&K security review meeting in Delhi

Santanu Sinha issues second apology letter for BJP’s Amit Malviya