Ecstatic from poll victory, Karnataka Congress preps for reshuffle

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Just as the Congress successfully completed its challenge of bypoll, yet another challenge has popped up before the party. Overwhelmed by the results of Gundlupet and Nanjangud assembly constituencies where the Congress stole a terrific victory, the party is now looking to set the house in order ahead of the assembly polls in 2018.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwar will meet the party's senior leadership in Delhi to discuss the next course of action for the party. Just before the bypolls, the Congress party was facing a crisis with workers and office bearers demanding a change of leadership. The party had then decided to work towards the bypoll first and then address the concerns of leadership. Now that the party has managed to demolish the BJP in the Nanjangud and Gundlupet bypoll, it is all set to work things out within and kickstart preparation for 2018 assembly elections.

New in-charge general secretary

The first and foremost concern currently for cadres is the replacement of Digvijaya Singh as in-charge general secretary. There is huge anger against Singh who is charged with failing the party in Goa. Multiple representations have been made to the party senior leadership to remove him from the post and appoint someone 'better'. Congressmen claim that Singh has no connect with ground reality and does not understand the sentiments of the workers.

Even as demand for his exit peaks, Gulam Nabi Azad's name is being thrown up to take Digvijaya Singh's position. The workers also believe that someone young may be in a better position to boost morale.

New state leadership

After the drubbing that the Congress received in Uttar Pradesh, the state unit had grown jittery. While with the bypoll victory has given them some confidence, the Congress understands that the magic it managed in the bypolls may not be recreated across the state in 2018. The party wants a mass leader who can challenge the precision with which BJP cadres work on the grassroots level. A huge number of workers are rallying behind D K Shivakumar to be made the party's president.

Shivakumar who is currently the power minister is seen as a mass leader who can influence voters. A strong Vokkaliga man, the party belives that his leadership would contribute towards confidence building about the Congres party among voters from non-AHINDA communities. AHINDA has been the sole agenda of Congress and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Now, the Congress believes, is the time for the party to appeal to other communities as well. Making Shivakumar the KPCC chief is the first step towards it.

In case Parameshwar refuses to let go of his position as the president, the Congress is likely to project D K Shivakumar as the chief minister face while allowing Parameshwar to continue as the KPCC president. However, this was a plan devised before the bypoll when Siddaramaiah was confident of not contesting polls anymore. With the bypoll victory, the status quo has changed and so will the plan. While it is too early to predict what the Congress may choose to do, a reshuffle is definitely on the cards.

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