Congress dissolves Karnataka Pradesh Committee; Dinesh Gundu Rao to stay on as state party chief

The All India Congress Committee on Wednesday decided to dissolve the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC). State party president Dinesh Gundu Rao and working chief Eshwara Khandre will continue to hold their posts.

The Congress announced its decision in a press release issued by party general secretary and Karnataka in-charge KC Venugopal.

 Congress dissolves Karnataka Pradesh Committee; Dinesh Gundu Rao to stay on as state party chief

Representational image. Reuters

This comes a day after the Congress suspended MLA R Roshan Baig from the party with immediate effect for indulging in "anti-party activities". Party office-bearers had written to Rao demanding Baig's dismissal from the party's primary membership for his alleged connections with the main accused in the IMA ponzi scam, Mohammed Mansoor Khan. Khan, the founder of the IMA Jewels, had accused Baig of not returning the Rs 400 crore he had taken from him. Baig, however, refuted the allegation and called it a "total conspiracy".

The move to dissolve the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee is believed to be a fallout of the constantly reported infighting within the party's state unit and the instability of the coalition government with the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka. The cracks in the Congress-JD(S) partnership have been evident since the two joined hands after the Assembly elections in March 2018 to prevent the BJP from forming the government in the state.

The saffron party had emerged the single-largest party in the elections, but the two rivals had beaten it to the punch to approach the government and stake claim to form the government.

Strains in the state government have been visible since July 2018 — mere months after the Assembly elections — when Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy broke down at an event organised to felicitate him. The rift has only been gradually widening, even if leaders of both parties, including Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, continue to deny the speculation.

Former Karnataka chief minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah is believed to have been bitter since the party conceded the state's highest post — which he held — to the JD(S). Siddaramaiah and his interference, as well as those of his supporters, in the functioning of the Karnataka government, is considered the cause of Kumaraswamy's repeated breakdowns.

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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2019 19:30:21 IST