Lingayats renew demand for KPCC chief post in Karnataka

With the Karnataka Assembly polls due in May, power struggle renewed in opposition Congress.

Bellary: With the Karnataka Assembly polls due in May, power struggle renewed in opposition Congress in the wake of Lingayat leaders demanding state unit president post for one of its leaders.

State unit Congress Treasurer Shamanur Shivashankarappa, who is spearheading the movement, reiterated that Lingayat leaders continued to be neglected in Congress in Karnataka.

Speaking to reporters here, he cautioned the Congress high command that if the state unit president post was not given to a Lingayat leader, the community leaders might join other political outfits.

Shivashankarappa, a prominent educationist in the state, said he would lead a delegation of like-minded Lingayat leaders to Delhi next week to press for the demand.

"It is high time that the Congress High Command rectifies the mistake of neglecting Lingayat leaders and initiates immediate measures ahead of the assembly polls," he said.

He admitted that he was a contender for the KPCC post.

Some months ago, Lingayat leaders headed by Shivashankarappa had placed a similar demand seeking replacement of incumbent KPCC chief G Parameshwara, but could not succeed.

The community has again brought to the fore its demand against the backdrop of Congress holding its AICC session at Jaipur from January 20, where a team to lead the party in the Assembly elections was expected to be announced.

The Congress High Command has already held talks with some front ranking leaders, including its opposition leader in the state assembly Siddaramaiah and Parameshwar, to ensure the party`s return to power.

Former External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, who quit the Union Cabinet, is also awaiting the High Command decision on the responsibility which he would be entrusted with in the run up to the elections.