Race for KPCC president post: Either me or Kharge, says Parameshwara

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The current chief of Congress in Karnataka Dr G Parameshwar has asked the high command to let him continue in the post. Parameshwara who is also Karnataka's home minister is said to have told Rahul Gandhi that if the party chooses to replace him, it should appoint Mallikarjun Kharge to the post.

Dr G Parameshwar

Barely days after Karnataka in-charge general secretary K C Venugopal returned to Delhi after meeting party workers in the state, Rahul Gandhi summoned Parameshwara. During a meeting on Friday, Parameshwara is said to have asked the party to choose between him and Mallikarjun Kharge, both prominent Dalit leaders to lead the state unit.

Sources close to Parameshwara claimed that he briefed Rahul Gandhi about the need to have a Dalit face at the helm of affairs. AHINDA has been Congress' traditional vote bank and not having a Dalit leader, Parameshwar is said to have told Congress leaders, will have a negative impact in the elections. With elections barely a year away, Parameshwar asked the party's senior leadership to retain him in the post and promised to work together with all tall leaders and ensure a victory for the party in the 2018 assembly elections.

With the likes of D K Shivakumar, S R Patil, M B Patil in the race for the post, Parameshwar has told the leadership that appointing Kharge may bring about a balance in terms of representation. The senior leadership of the Congress is making all arrangements to send Kharge back to Karnataka to monitor the party ahead of the elections. While it is almost certain that he would return to state politics, his role and post are unclear.

Parameshwar was called to Delhi on Friday and held a meeting with Rahul Gandhi. His meeting with the central leadership of the party comes after K C Venugopal filed his report on his maiden visit to Karnataka after being appointed the in-charge general secretary. While a barrage of complaints was raised against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC President Dr G Parameshwara, the latter is said to have assured the central leadership that retaining him is the best viable option to avoid confusion in the party. It is to be seen if the leadership is convinced with his assurance.

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