The Congress today dissolved its unit in Karnataka in the wake of its abysmal performance in the general elections in the state, but spared state president Dinesh Gundu Rao and working president Easwar Khandre the axe. The Congress and its alliance partner, the Janata Dal Secular, were routed in Karnataka, winning just one each of the state's 28 Lok Sabha seats; the BJP won 25.
The decision has been taken to pave the way for the reorganisation of the party at all levels and to create an opportunity for new leaders, state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao said.
"The intention is to reorganize the party at the state, district and block levels... I, along with party's Working President Eshwar Khandre would have to start reorganising and strengthening the party," Mr Gundu Rao said.
The dissolution also comes a day after the party suspended its legislator Roshan Baig for anti-party activities. Mr Baig had recently criticised his colleagues in the party, describing state-in-charge KC Venugopal as a "buffoon", former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as "arrogant" and Mr Gundu Rao as a "flop show".
The Congress-JDS coalition government has been left vulnerable in Karnataka since the Lok Sabha rout. Voices of dissent have been growing in the Karnataka Congress for some time now due to differences over the functioning of the coalition government in the state, even as the Congress and JDS leadership have been accusing the BJP and its leader YS Yeddyurappa of luring their leaders to topple the coalition government.
Two members of the Congress were recently inducted in the Karnataka cabinet.
The poor Lok Sabha elections performance has raised fears of a potential revival of what is referred to as "Operation Lotus". The term was first used in 2008, when the BJP was accused of inciting several opposition legislators to defect to ensure the stability of its government headed by BS Yeddyurappa.
Yesterday, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had alleged that one of his party legislators was offered Rs 10 crore by the BJP. "One of our MLAs called me after he got a call by a BJP leader. They offered him Rs 10 crore to leave JDS and join BJP. These attempts are being done continuously by BJP leaders. But by God's grace and your blessings this government is safe for another four years," he said.
With inputs from PTI
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