Shivakumar to take over reins of Karnataka Congress on Thursday


Bengaluru, Jul 2 (IANS): Congress troubleshooter D.K. Shivakumar would take over as the party's Karnataka President on Thursday and the event would be streamed live for party leaders and cadres across the state, a party leader said.

"Shivakumar's Pratigna Dina (Day of Oath) as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president will be held at the party office from 10.30 a.m. onwards in compliance with the lockdown guidelines, which restricts the gathering to about 50 people," party leader M.A. Saleem told IANS here.

Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal, newly-elected Rajya Sabha member from state Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, former state chief Dinesh Gundu Rao, former Union Minister Rehman Khan and party's women's wing head Pushpa Amarnath will be present at the event.

The event will begin with homage to 20 martyrs of the Indian Army who died in a clash with Chinese soldiers in Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15. It will be followed by 'Vande Mataram', welcome speech by state Working President Saleem Ahmed and party's flag exchange from Gundu Rao to Shivakumar.

Venugopal will deliver the inaugural speech, followed by Gundu Rao, Shivakumar, Kharge, Siddaramaiah, party's leader in Legislative Council S.R. Patil and Working Presidents Eshwar Khandre and Satish Jarkiholi.

"Khan will administer oath to all party members on the Preamble of the Constitution and Shivakumar will take the party's pledge," said Saleeem.

Touting it to be an historic event, Shivakumar said though he would assume charge in the presence of a few party leaders due to restriction on a large gathering, hundreds of party leaders and cadres would join the programme in virtual world at 7,800 places across the state through live streaming.

"Hundreds of our party members and supporters will watch the historic event from their homes, panchayats, civic offices and civic wards across the state, wearing masks and maintaining social distance," he said.

Though Shivakumar, 58, was appointed on March 11, he could not take charge since then, due to the lockdown.

Shivakumar's appointment came three months after Gundu Rao resigned on December 9 following the party's debacle in the Assembly by-elections on December 5, in which only 2 out of the 15 candidates won, while the ruling BJP got 12.

Shivakumar is a legislator from the Kanakapura assembly segment. His brother D.K. Suresh is the party's Lok Sabha member from the Bangalure Rural constituency for the second time. He was the party's only candidate to have retained the seat, while 20 others lost in the May 2019 general elections.

  

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