Congress to field new faces in 2018 polls: K C Venugopal

Mangaluru: The ruling Congress will introduce new faces in Karnataka during the next Assembly polls which would be fought on the agenda of development, general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal, said on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters at Udupi after visiting Sri Krishna math along with KPCC president G Parameshwar, he said meetings were being conducted at regional level to enthuse party workers. Both leaders met Sri Vishewsha Teertha Swamiji and sought his blessings. The seer had drawn flak from a fringe Hindu outfit for organising a ‘harmony feast’ for Muslims during Ramzan in the ancient Krishna temple complex at Udupi on June 23. The senior pontiff had, however, defended his gesture, saying it had in no way brought insult to Hindus.

Asked about a possible cabinet reshuffle ahead of the polls, Mr Venugopal said it was the prerogative of the Chief Minister. The Congress government led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had provided good governance and implemented pro-people programmes in the last four years, he said. He alleged that BJP’s attempt to polarise votes by creating communal disturbances in certain areas would not be accepted by the people of the state. Commending the Iftar get together held by Vishweshateertha Swamiji, Venugopal said the seer had given a good message to the people. He said former Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee had hosted the Iftar get-together during his tenure, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not yet hosted any such meet to foster harmony and goodwill.