2019 LS polls: Congress begins preparation

By PTI Published on Aug 04, 2018 12:21 PM IST

Bengaluru: The Congress in Karnataka has begun constituency-wise discussions with local leaders as part of its preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Congress General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal along with the state leadership, including CLP leader Siddaramaiah, Pradesh Congress Chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and Working President Eshwar Khandre held discussions with representatives from about eight Lok Sabha constituencies.

MPs, Ministers, MLAs and MLCs, along with defeated candidates in the previous assembly and parliamentary elections, district chiefs and other leaders from Udupi-Chikmagalur, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga,

Mysuru, Mandya, Bengaluru Central and Bengaluru North constituencies, met leaders separately.

According to party sources, the leadership reportedly directed local leaders to work towards strengthening the organisation from the booth level and make efforts to bring back those who quit the party ahead of the assembly elections.

Expecting early Lok Sabha polls by December, Rao had recently announced plans to reorganise the party from the grassroots to the Pradesh Congress Committee level.

Leaders of certain districts are said to have asked the state leadership to see to it that party's interest is not compromised while deciding on seat sharing for the Lok Sabha polls with the JD(S), its ruling coalition partner.

Congress and JD(S) have decided to fight the Lok Sabha polls together. Both parties that had bitterly fought each other in the assembly elections, especially in old Mysuru region, joined hands to form a coalition government in the state as the 12 May assembly polls threw up a hung verdict.

Seat sharing arrangement between both parties, especially in old Mysuru region where JD(S) is strong and Congress too has its sitting MP's, is going to be a test for the coalition.

According to party sources, along with preparation for the Lok Sabha polls, leaders are said to have discussed the polls to 105 urban local bodies, scheduled for 29 August.

A majority of the leaders at the meeting today reportedly opposed an alliance with JD(S) in the urban local body polls.

Pointing out that there was no alliance with JD(S) for the urban local body polls even during the earlier coalition government headed by Dharam Singh, many leaders are said to have advised the leadership to take a decision, looking at the ground situation.