B.L. Shankar and a few MLAs meet Krishna
Moves are afoot by certain strong aspirants to bag the post of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president that is expected to get vacated after the incumbent, G. Parameshwara, is declared as a member of the Legislative Council.
Though it could take at least a couple of months before everything falls into place, talks have started with one group led by the former Minister B.L. Shankar showing steadfast interest.
The visit of Mr. Shankar and a few MLAs to the residence of the former Union Minister S.M. Krishna on Tuesday could be conjectured as much more than a “courtesy call”, sources in the party told The Hindu. Then, there are strong grounds to believe that Mr. Shankar, a staunch follower of Mr. Krishna, is determined to land the job and steer the fortunes of the party at the helm. Both Mr. Krishna and Mr. Shankar belong to the Vokkaliga community and also share a ‘Chikmagalur connection’. Mr. Krishna’s wife and Mr. Shankar hail from Chikmagalur district.
Then, there is a question of “accommodating” various sections at prime places in the organisational chart of the party. Dr. Parameshwara and Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha M. Mallikarjun Kharge belong to the Scheduled Caste, and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah belongs to OBC category.
Factors such as “acceptability” and “experience” are sure to count while choosing the right candidate for the job, apart from caste factor, at a time when the party’s prospects have reached the lowest ebb. Importantly, the candidate must be capable of having a good “understanding with the government”, sources said.
Mr. Shankar has been closely associated with the Congress since the 90s. His organisational skills are his strength. The other strong Vokkaliga leaders in the party, D.K. Shivakumar and T.B. Jayachandra, both Ministers, may not stake claim from the community, sources told The Hindu.
The Lingayat lobby too is not expected to lag behind. Veeranna Mathikatti, former Chairman of the Legislative Council, appears to be a strong contender for the post. The other leader Appaji Nadagouda, it is said, is keen on becoming a Minister. The name of Chikkodi MP Prakash Hukkeri, who was a Minister in the Siddaramaiah government till recently, is also doing the rounds.