K’taka: Venugopal to hold talks with Siddaramaiah setting tone for assembly polls

Bengaluru: Newly appointed Congress general secretary in charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal is all prepared to set the tone for the 2018 assembly election when he will arrive in Bengaluru on Monday to discuss organisational issues, including proposing name for the post of KPCC president.

“I am coming to Bengaluru on Monday with an open mind for discussions related to various organisational matters of our party unit of Karnataka,” he said over phone from Alapuzha in Kerala.

Venugopal said he would hold talks with senior party leaders, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and G Parameshwara, the present state party president and others. “I will be in Bengaluru for a minimum of three days. I have to discuss various issues with my senior leaders, including Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara,” he said.

Asked whether proposing the name for Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President’s post would be on top of his agenda, he said he has not prioritised any issue, but would do so after getting an idea during discussions with the leaders.

“I have not prioritised any issue. It is a primary meeting and it is my maiden visit to Bengaluru…also I am a novice to Karnataka politics. Therefore, I have to first meet the senior party leaders to understand the issues,” he said.

Venugopal said he would get an idea after discussions with party leaders, based on which they would decide what the priorities should be and the need of the hour. His arrival in Bengaluru will be after he met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who had assigned him the task of understanding ground realities and the mood of party workers.

According to media reports, the names of D K Shivakumar, R Patil and M B Patil and present President Dr G Parameshwara are doing the rounds for getting the coveted post. Asked about S M Krishna and former minister V Srinivasprasad joining the BJP, Venugopal said he would consult party leaders, including Siddaramaiah and work out a strategy to put a stop to Congress workers leaving the party.

To a question on anti-incumbency in the party, Venugopal said if there was any truth in it, Congress would not have won Nanjangud and Gudlupet bypolls in April. He is expected to give a ground report to the High Command.