As the 2024 Lok Sabha and Karnataka local body elections approach, the state unit of the Congress party is gearing up for a strategic reshuffle within its ranks by the end of December 2023. In an effort to quell internal dissent and ensure a united front in the upcoming elections, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is contemplating appointing 25-30 MLAs and MLCs to key positions in various boards and corporations. This move, aimed at promoting unity within the party, will be a significant step in decentralizing power and streamlining the leadership structure.
The Karnataka Congress, led by Deputy Chief Minister and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president DK Shivakumar, is gearing up for a pivotal meeting to finalize these appointments. The party’s commitment to decentralizing power is at the forefront of this strategy, with a focus on promoting elected representatives to key positions.
Five months into their term, the Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka government has yet to appoint heads to various boards and corporations. This delay has raised concerns among party workers who have been eagerly awaiting these appointments. The party has also received numerous applications from its members eager to see these appointments expedited. In the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Council, there are currently 135 Congress MLAs and 29 MLCs, making these appointments crucial to the party’s future success.
In a candid conversation with a senior Congress leader, it was revealed that these appointments are seen as critical to quelling internal dissent. While the Chief Minister contemplates entrusting chairmanships of boards and corporations to legislators, there might be some exceptions where party workers are considered. The leadership’s priority is to avoid creating divisions within the party during this process.
The process of appointing working presidents has been temporarily halted due to the impending Assembly elections in five states. Various leaders, including Cabinet ministers, have proposed names for this role, but final decisions are yet to be made. The core committee will consider factors, including caste representation, while finalizing the candidates.
Party leaders, such as Satish Jarkiholi, KH Muniyappa, Dr. JC Mahadevappa, and K Rajanna, have been actively pushing for the pending appointments within the party. Their recent decisions related to party cadres have raised concerns, leading to dissent within the party’s ranks. However, the party is committed to resolving these issues and expediting these critical appointments.
DK Shivakumar recently announced plans for a crucial meeting after October 25 to address the pending appointments of boards and corporations, as well as the party’s working president. This gathering’s primary agenda is to clear appointments to various boards and corporations while focusing on the working president’s appointment. The party’s emphasis on decentralizing power is a central theme in these discussions.
Despite discussions surrounding a perceived power crisis in the state, Shivakumar remains steadfast in ensuring good governance and delivering on electoral promises. He assured that the government is committed to providing uninterrupted power in industrial zones and guaranteeing five-hour power supply for farmers. However, he refrained from addressing the delays in appointing chairpersons to various boards and corporations and the party’s working president.