Cong to go all out to publicise State govt’s achievements

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Bangalore: The State Congress is learnt to have decided to avoid the “mistake” of the UPA government which may cost the latter dearly in the Lok Sabha elections: keeping a low-profile and not publicising its achievements.

Digvijaya Singh, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka who chaired a meeting of the KPCC coordination committee on Wednesday, asked the Congress leaders in the State to open up and tell people about the government’s achievements. The meeting was held for about 45 minutes at the KPCC office.

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With exit polls predicting a crushing defeat for the Congress at the Centre, leaders in the party have been ruing what they describe as the UPA government’s “failure” to publicise its achievements over the last 10 years. Many senior leaders even attribute the party’s possible defeat in the elections to this lack of effective communication.

Interestingly, the party has made no arrangements to mark the State government’s one year in office. Even Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has no plans to organise any event except for releasing a booklet highlighting the achievements of his government. The committee has now decided to hold several public programmes in the next six months with a dual purpose of publicising the achievements of the State government and strengthening the Congress party.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president G Parameshwara, AICC secretary in charge of Karnataka A Chellakumar, Home Minister K J George and Energy Minister D K Shivakumar are its other members.

The main objective of Singh’s meeting two days before votes are to be counted was to assess the Congress party’s mood and get feedback on its likely performance in Karnataka. Both the chief minister and the KPCC chief are said to have exuded confidence that the Congress would win 18-20 seats in the State. A detailed report on the party’s campaign was also submitted to Singh who left for Delhi later in the day.

Among the programmes the Congress will hold is a two-day conference of party leaders in June or July, to be attended by AICC president Sonia Gandhi; KPCC general body meeting in June and monthly KPCC executive committee meeting in all districts. The chief minister and all ministers have to attend the executive committee meetings.

Pat on the back for CM

Singh praised the government’s performance. “The government has done exceedingly well in one year. It has taken historic decisions. The chief minister has been able to lead the State in the areas of development. We are convinced that the party will do well in Karnataka under his leadership,” Singh told reporters.

Sources said Singh met former Union minister S M Krishna on Tuesday over dinner and later visited his daughter who stays in Bangalore.

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