Race for KPCC president ends as DK Shivakumar likely to head

Simran Kashyap

Bengaluru, Feb 17: With the Congress leadership keen on appointing a new head for the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), two leaders, D K Shivakumar and M B Patil, were seen on a head-to-head race to head the post.

The KPCC presidentship has been vacant ever since the incumbent Dinesh Gundu Rao had submitted his resignation, taking moral responsibility for the party's poor performance in recent bypolls in which the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) won 12 of the 15 seats, ensuring a majority for itself.

However, there seems to be an end as Congress high command is likely to announce the party's key troubleshooter DK Shivakumar as the next state unit president with MB Patil as the working president, according to reports.

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Both the leaders are Congress's strongmen. It should be noted that D K Shivakumar belongs to the Vokkaliga community while M B Patil hails from the Lingayat community. The two upper castes, Lingayats and Vokkaligas have played a key role in Karnataka state politics. While Lingayats constitute 17% of the state's 65 million population, Vokkaligas account for 15%.

However, Former CM S Siddaramaiah is likely to continue as leader of both opposition as well as Congress Legislature Party leader.

Meanwhile, Eshwar Khandre will continue to work as the working president of KPCC. Mallikarjun Kharge is likely to be the AICC chief secretary and Dr G Parameshwar will be the chief of coordination or Samanvaya committee.

It is learnt that the names and the list is sent to K C Venugopal, who is in-charge of affairs of Congress for the state of Karnataka.

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