Early election in Karnataka? DK Shivakumar drops cryptic date
Bengaluru, Mar 29: Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar on Tuesday said his party is prepared to face the electorate in case early assembly elections are held in the state, while cryptically mentioning November 27 as a possible date for announcement.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be visiting the state later this week and holding a series of meetings with leaders and office bearers, as the party prepares for the assembly polls scheduled next year.
"Let them (Election Commission) do it (announce elections) whenever they want...let them announce tomorrow itself, this month, on November 27 or March (next year). The Congress party is ready," Shivakumar told reporters here in response to a question on the possibility of early assembly elections in the state.
Asked about him specifically mentioning November 27 as the date of announcement, he said, "We too get certain information, as you people (reporters) get."
Sharing details of Rahul Gandhi's visit to the state, Shivakumar said he is coming to Karnataka on March 31, and will be visiting Siddaganga mutt, a prominent Lingayat mutt in Tumakuru district, to offer respects to the gadduge (final resting place) of Shivakumara Swamiji on his 115th birth anniversary.
"After arriving in Bengaluru at about 2 pm, he will directly visit the mutt and return to the city, where he will be meeting party leaders of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits at the Congress office, and on April 1 at 11 am he will be meeting the extended executive committee of state Congress including lawmakers, defeated candidates, former MPs and office-bearers," he said.
Gandhi will also have a Zoom call with party workers actively engaged in the Congress membership drive, and a separate meeting is likely with Youth Congress, Mahila Congress, NSUI and Seva Dal, Shivakumar said, adding that about 47 lakh members have been enrolled into the party in Karnataka, and this is highest in the whole country.
Responding to a question on whether the Congress is displaying soft Hindutva, with Rahul Gandhi visiting mutts ahead of assembly polls, Shivakumar pointed out that the Gandhi family has a long association with mutts and religious institutions.
"The family has visited thousands of mutts. Indira Gandhi had visited Sringeri mutt, Rajiv Gandhi spent an entire week at the Sringeri mutt doing a homa (fire ritual). Even Sonia Gandhi had visited the Siddaganga mutt," he noted.The KPCC President said he has asked Congress workers and leaders to garland their motor vehicles and gas cylinders on March 31 and post photos and videos of it on social media by tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in protest against price rise. He said, on April 7, protest rallies will be held against price rise in the districts.