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Take everyone along, Rahul tells Shivakumar DKS coronation watched by 56L people, claims the party

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday summed up the task before the new KPCC president D K Shivakumar: You have to carry everyone along. 

In what was almost a 4-hour-long event, Shivakumar took formal charge as the state party chief, which the party claimed was viewed by 56 lakh people. 

During the event, Gandhi called up to wish Shivakumar. “I hope DK Shivakumar will work in the interests of the people of Karnataka, in particular the weaker sections and those struggling during this time. There’s a lot of work Congress party has to do during Covid and the economic disaster,” Gandhi said on the phone. “Congratulations, DK! As PCC president, you have to carry every single Congressman with you. I know you will do that.” 

Gandhi’s message cut right at the heart of a problem Shivakumar faces as the new state party president – bringing various factions and their leaders together. 

“In Karnataka, Congress has the strongest base. Your first priority should be to take everyone along together,” AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, who represented the high command at Shivakumar’s swearing-in, said. Referring to Shivakumar’s working presidents Satish Jarkiholi, Eshwar Khandre and Saleem Ahmed, Venugopal said it was a new team. “I think this team should emerge victoriously.”

According to the party, Shivakumar’s coronation was watched live via Zoom at 16,743 locations and some 20 lakh people watched it on various social media platforms. Also, over 6.39 lakh missed calls were received by the party. 

In a symbolic transfer of power, outgoing KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao handed Shivakumar the Congress’ flag during Pratijna Dina as the event was called. Some 150 leaders were present at the party’s headquarters in the city, while party workers participated from 7,831 locations. 

Even Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi called up Shivakumar to wish him, whereas Congress president Sonia Gandhi despatched a written message for him, signifying how close Shivakumar is to the high command and the trust they have in him. 

Shivakumar said his appointment should mark the beginning of a new chapter for the party. He vowed to make the Congress a cadre-based unit. “In Kerala, all big leaders represent their booth. We’ve to follow the Kerala model,” he said, adding that the Congress should come to power again. 

We have time to build cadre at booth level: Siddaramaiah

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said the Congress had enough time to prepare as the next election won’t happen anytime soon. “There’s still time. Sometimes, Shivakumar gets excited and says there’ll be an election next year. No, (BJP) won’t let go so easily. So, we have time, so we can build a cadre at the booth-level,” he said. Siddaramaiah also attacked the BJP.

“Congress will win the next election 100%. The BJP will create an atmosphere for us to win,” he said. Dubbing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “a hypocrite, liar and cheater,” Siddaramaiah said he was implementing the RSS’ agenda.

“Till the BJP is in power, with the RSS driving from the backseat, there won’t be any justice for the poor, farmers, women, Dalits and labourers,” he said, adding that the fight against the BJP
was akin to another freedom struggle for the Congress. 

I’d like to be the stone that is used for the footsteps at Vidhana Soudha on which all of you can step
D K Shivakumar
KPCC president

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