Shankar and S S Mallikarjun in race for KPCC chief’s post

Indications are that the state unit would be headed by either a Vokkaliga or a Lingayat

Bengaluru: With KPCC president Dr. G. Parameshwar set to join the cabinet, Congressmen in Karnataka are debating about his successor.

Sources in the party said though the selection process was yet to begin, indications are that the state unit would be headed by either a Vokkaliga or a Lingayat.

The list of aspirants, however, consists of leaders belonging to all communities, not just the numerically significant Vokkaligas or Lingayats. The names of KPCC vice president Dr B.L. Shankar and agriculture minister Krishna Byre Gowda, both Vokkaligas, C. S. Appaji Nadagouda and former minister S. S. Mallikarjun, both Lingayats, and social welfare minister H. Anjaneya, are the doing rounds.

Interestingly, even candidates like former Union minister C. M. Ibrahim and former minister Naseer Ahmed are being discussed by partymen.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader from New Delhi said, “though the names of these seven leaders are doing the rounds for some time, it looks like central leaders are likely to decide between leaders belonging to Lingayat or Vokkaliga community and most likely the final leg of the race for the coveted post will be between Mr. Mallikarjun and Dr Shankar.”

The leader said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s camp was pushing the names of Mr. Appaji Nadagouda, Mr. Ibrahim, and Mr. Anjaneya. Those in the cabinet, however, are unlikely to give up their posts and take over as president of KPCC.

The leader said Dr Shankar appears to have an edge over the other contenders as he seems to enjoy the support of most of factions within the Congress party.

“He mainly draws his power from former external affairs minister S.M. Krishna and his associates but he also enjoys good rapport with Mr. Siddaramaiah as he too belongs to the erstwhile Janata parivar, and has the experience of being Janata Dal’s state unit president. This might be an added advantage when compared with Mr. Mallikarjun,” the leader added.

Besides, the denial of Rajya Sabha seat to Mr Krishna could be a blessing in disguise for Dr Shankar. “Generally, central leaders of the party consult leaders like Mr. Krishna and others, but in this case they might just ask him to pick his candidate. As a result, the chances of Dr. Shankar appears bright at this juncture,” the leader added.

( Source : dc )
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