AICC Gen Secretary removed as ‘in charge’ in Goa & Karnataka. Goa govt formation fiasco triggered ‘sacking’, Chella Kumar new Goa in-charge
PANJIM: In what could cap the political slugfest in Congress, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has finally removed its general secretary Digvijay Singh as its Goa in-charge. The development comes in the wake of assembly elections held in February, when the Congress led by him failed to form the government despite winning the largest number of seats.
Singh is also been removed as desk in-charge of Karnataka State, which is scheduled to go for polls next year.
In an order issued by AICC general secretary and MP Janardan Dwivedi on Saturday, it is learnt that the party president Sonia Gandhi has assigned the task of looking after Karnataka and Goa affairs to the new AICC teams.
AICC secretary Dr Chella Kumar is now appointed as the Goa in-charge, while Amit Deshmukh as secretary. Kumar, was earlier assisting Singh in handling party’s functioning in Goa.
Singh had come in for a lot of criticism from his own party leadership in the State after Congress failed to form the government in Goa. Congress had won 17 out of 38 seats it contested. But despite that, BJP led by Manohar Parrikar formed the government in coalition with regional parties.
Leaders like party president Luizinho Faleiro, MLAs Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco and then MLA and current BJP Minister Vishwajit Rane had directly blamed Singh for the party’s failure to form the government. They had even complained to party vice president Rahul Gandhi seeking immediate action against Singh.
Vishwajit Rane had resigned from the party, while distancing himself from voting during the crucial floor test before State Assembly on March 16.
Singh, who took almost 24 hours on March 12, day after the poll results were out, to elect its CLP leader, had and rued the fact the Congress did not form a pre-poll alliance with Goa Forward party led by Vijai Sardesai, which eventually sided with BJP.
Singh, later admitted the mistake for not forming pre-poll alliance and went to blame the State leadership for having ‘trust deficit’ with Fatorda MLA and Goa Forward leader Vijai Sardesai.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari as well as Parrikar, in return sarcastically thanked Singh for allowing BJP to form the Government and taunted that ‘he was here in Goa for holiday’.
When contacted, CLP Leader Chandrakant Kavalekar refused to comment on the development.
Whereas, the AICC secretary Girish Chodankar has welcomed the move stating ‘Congress is need of young blood’. “This is a welcome decision, because new and young people are promoted. Congress is very much in need of young blood for new and fresh ideas,” he said.
Chodankar, however, ruled out the fact that Singh’s removal was basically over his Goa election fiasco. “You cannot blame Singh for robbery. Our victory was robbed and we did not fail,” he commented.
Meanwhile in Karnataka, Congress replaced Singh with K C Venugopal, Lok Sabha MP from Kerala.