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KPCC President: It's between G.Parameshwara and DK Shivakumar

By Chennabasaveshwar

The Congress High Command likely to announce the name of new Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee on Monday. The party cadres have kept their fingers crossed on the selection of the candidate as the consultations are on.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah gestures as Home Minister G Parmeshwara speaks during a press conference at KPCC office in Bengaluru. PTI file photo

Chief Minister Siddaramiah was scheduled to meet High Command at 12 noon. Prior to his meeting, current KPCC President G. Parameshwara, KPCC working president Dinesh Gundurao and senior ministers DK Shivakumar, KJ George were to hold consultations with party top brass. According to sources, the High Command may choose leaders from dominant Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities to the top post.

However, political analyst has ruled out appointment of a Lingayat leader as KPPC president and presume the high command may go with either DK Shivakumar or current president G. Parameshwara.

So, why a Linagayat cannot be KPCC President?

At present, Congress party in the state does not have prominent face who can woo Lingayat voters cutting across sub-castes. Though Irrigation Minister MB Patil is a Linagayat, he belongs to a sub-caste called Koodu-vokkaliga, that cannot have a sway over other politically and economically strong sub-castes. Traditionally, Banajiga, Panchamasali and Reddy Lingayats are known to have considerable political and economic clout in the state.

Besides, Lingayat community is believed to be backing BS Yeddyurappa in the upcoming elections as BJP leadership has time and again announced him as CM candidate. Hence, Congress presume that en masse Lingayat voters may go with BJP. Therefore, Patil is not a favorite candidate.

[After invoking Basaveshwar, does Modi need 'Yeddyurappa ka saath' in Karnataka ?]

What advantage a Vokkaliga candidate has?

DK Shivakumar, a prominent Vokklaiga leader in Congress has proven track of dividing Vokkaliga votes. In 2004, he ensured the victory of Tejaswini as MP against former PM Devegowda. She humbled Gowda by over 1.22 lakh votes in Kanakapura Lok Sabha (now Bangalore Rural) constituency. He has money and muscle power nobody could ignore when it comes to power politics. His appointment may garner additional 2-3 % votes to the traditional 35 % vote share of Congress.

When asked about the likely candidate to the KPCC post, newly appointed Karnataka-in-charge, k Venugopal, said to give a cryptic answer. Sources said he was reportedly 'happy' with the present 'team'- Siddarmaiah and Parameshwra. So, it clearly leaves only G. Parameshwara and DK Shivakumar in the fray.

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