Race for district president's post: Can Congress overcome another obstacle?
Shreyas H S
Mangalore, Feb 5: Amid high political drama and tough tussle between former union minister Janardhan Poojary and Veerappa Moily's son Harsha Moily in the district Congress unit for the coveted Lok Sabha ticket from Mangalore, the party is signalling yet another internal battle, this time for the post of district Congress president.
It is said that a candidate for the president's post would be chosen before the end of this month, during the foundation stone laying ceremony for the construction of new Congress office in Mangalore. However, sources close to KPCC (Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee) told Daijiworld that Congress high command has instructed KPCC to stall the process till the party comes out of Lok Sabha elections.
Currently, Ibrahim Kodijal is the interim president of the district Congress. He was appointed temporarily after Ramanath Rai resigned on becoming an MLA.
Quite seemingly the Congress party in the district was unable deliver better cards in the game of politics ahead of 2014 general elections, be it with the selection of candidate or political strategies to tackle its counterpart BJP, which has never tasted the pinch of failure in MP elections since 1991.
Holding the cards close to the chest, former MLA Vijaykumar Shetty and KPCC general secretary Ivan D’Souza of Congress party recently communicated their wish to handle the responsible post in the coastal district.
Both claim that they are eligible and experienced, and seem to be hell bent on thwarting any obstacles coming their way.
Vijaykumar Shetty speaking to Daijiworld on his wish to assume the post said, "Since my teenage days I have worked for the party and always abided by the party’s decision, even though I was disappointed many times." From being NSUI president to two-time MLA from Suratkal constituency, according to him, he has the ability to unite the Congress ahead of elections.
Shetty, who is currently the president of Suratkal block Congress expressed that during the last assembly elections due to internal politics in the party, he was compelled to back off from contesting the elections from his home turf Suratkal. But, loyalty for the Congress party since many decades, despite the many disappointments, may this time allow him to relish his moment under the sun.
Competing with Shetty for the same post is Ivan D'Souza. "It is my right being affiliated to the oldest democratic party to seek an opportunity to serve the party by shouldering this responsibility," said Ivan D’Souza. When the party was routed in the last parliamentary elections, he had worked hard with senior political leaders to enable the party to hold its ground.
Ivan further pointed out that Congress party has always patted the efforts of minority communities and rewarded their efforts by handing them responsible posts. "I have asked the party to provide me an opportunity to implement my skills in strengthening the party in the district," he said, expressing confidence that the party would announce his name for the post before the district goes to the much anticipated elections.
That said, the Congress party, owing to concerns over a major political rift that may unleash soon after the declaration of candidate for the post, has recently decided to stall the selection process. Sources very close to KPCC confirmed to daijiworld that the Congress high command has directed the KPCC to drop the decision of choosing the party district president before the elections.
The decision came after observing a spark of political tug-of-war existing within the party. It can be observed that the Congress party has been building politics of groupism over the post of presidentship. Studying the past track record of Congress suggests that the party was drubbed all these years in the general elections mainly because of the ‘politics of revenge’.
Keeping a close tab on every move of the Congress, BJP that was routed in the last assembly selections opines that as the internal war escalates in Congress the BJP would avail the political benefits.
MP of the district Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “I don’t want to comment on the internal matters of the Congress regarding selection of the candidate for the party’s president post. The race in the Congress would no doubt benefit the BJP and ease the way for the party to come to power."
Did Congress party postpone the appointment to prevent the consequences from affecting the party's chances in the Lok Sabha polls? Or will this political upheaval continue endangering the already damaged party in the district? A meticulous handling of the situation would save the Congress from another battle and facilitate the party to contest the elections with full fledged confidence.