Bengaluru, June 6 (IANS) Congress troubleshooter D.K. Shivakumar, who was appointed president of the party’s Karnataka unit in March, sought state chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s permission to take charge on June 14 here, an official said on Saturday.
“Shivakumar has written to Yediyurappa to permit him to assume charge on June 14 at the party office in the city centre in view of the Covid-19-induced extended lockdown restrictions on large gatherings,” party spokesman Ravi Gowda told IANS here.
Though party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi appointed Shivakumar, 58, on March 11 as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, he could not assume charge since then, as lockdown was enforced on March 25 and extended till June 30, with partial relaxation of curbs for social distancing.
“If permitted, I shall take charge in the presence of about 150 senior party leaders at our party office at a special programme, which will be telecast live across the state,” said Shivakumar in his letter to the Chief Minister on Friday.
On the occasion, the party’s local leaders and workers in all gram panchayats, municipality/corporation ward areas, block Congress and district Congress offices will gather at designated places to participate in the programme digitally.
“Taking charge as the party’s state unit president is one of the important events for any political party. Tradition has it that this is done in a big way with a huge gathering. In view of the lockdown protocol due to the pandemic, the function will be held without large gathering at a given place and time,” said the letter.
Shivakumar cancelled the programme scheduled on May 31 and on June 7 as the Central government on May 30 further extended the lockdown till June 30.
Party’s senior leader V.S. Ugrappa told IANS on Friday that the programme would be streamed live at about 8,000 places, including 6,025 local bodies across the state and 198 civic wards in Bengaluru.
“We are expecting about 100 people to attend and view the event at 8,000 places, leading to participation by 8 lakh people,” said Ugrappa.
Shivakumar’s appointment came three months after Dinesh Gunde Rao resigned on December 9 following the party’s debacle in the state assembly by-elections on December 5, in which it won only 2 out of the 15 seats, while the ruling BJP won 12 and one by an independent, with the support of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
Shivakumar is a senior legislator from the Kanakapura assembly segment, about 60km south of Bengaluru in the southern state.
Shivakumar’s 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 election.