Karnataka Cabinet minister and Vokkaliga strongman D K Shivakumar left to New Delhi on Monday to meet the central leadership of the Congress. The minister for energy is in Delhi to stake claim to become the next President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. The move comes in the backdrop of veteran Congressman and Vokkaliga icon, S M Krishna deciding to join the BJP.
The crisis in Karnataka unit of the Congress is only growing by the day. The Congress in the state is a divided house with one half supporting the current leadership while the other is demanding a change of leadership if the Congress has any intentions to win the 2018 assembly polls. Sources from the Congress told OneIndia that the party cadre is frustrated with the current leadership and is desperate to have D K Shivakumar to lead the party in the 2018 elections.
The loss of an opinion maker in the Cauvery delta region and Vokkaliga leader like S M Krishna has just weakened the party's foothold in the region. After S M Krishna, other Vokkaliga leaders like Ambarish are also expected to resign from the Congress further taking away the Community's support from the party. "The current leadership has failed miserably. We risk losing our traditional constituencies in Madya-Mysuru region. We need a strong leader and D K Shivakumar is the most bankable face. The party is a divided house and we need a uniting force. Many others like me have decided to quit the party if D K Shivakumar is not made the PCC president," said an office bearer. The Congress is already facing a trust deficit with allegations of corruption and kickbacks. Losing leaders like Srinivas Prasad has hurt the party's popularity among the Dalits in the Mysuru-Mandya region and now, with S M Krishna's exit and Ambarish's most likely exit from the party, the Congress risks losing its Vokkaliga vote share.
Party sources also revealed that D K Shivakumar's elevation as the President of the party in the state was with the approval of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah but as expected Dr G Parameshwar is against the same. While party workers believe that D K Shivakumar is the only chance at a victory in 2018 polls, party's working president Dinesh Gundu Rao is going to be at the receiving end of it all. He gave up his cabinet berth to become the working president and with D K Shivakumar's elevation, Dinesh Gundu Rao has much to lose.