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Congress vows to keep BJP out of power in Karnataka

Bengaluru: Karnataka’s ruling Congress on Monday vowed to keep the BJP out of power in the state by winning the 2018 assembly elections.

“Our objective is to not allow the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) come to power in Karnataka at any cost. We will win the next assembly elections and form our government again,” claimed party’s newly-appointed state in-charge K.C. Venugopal.

The ruling party returned for power in the southern state on its own in the May 2013 assembly elections, a decade after losing power 2004.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on April 29 appointed Venugopal, the party’s general secretary, as in-charge of the party’s affairs in the state, replacing Digvijaya Singh.

The 54-year-old Venugopal, a Lok Sabha member from Kerala’s Alappuzha, is on a three-day visit to the city to meet the party’s state unit leaders, cadres and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

“We have taken the ensuing assembly elections as a challenge. We should strive hard to retain power in the state by strengthening the party from grassroots,” Venugopal told reporters at the party office.

Exhorting state leaders and cadres to forget differences and work together to win the next assembly elections, he said as the Siddaramaiah government was doing a good job, its welfare schemes should be popularised across the state.

“The party’s leaders and cadres should take the welfare schemes to the people’s doorsteps and not repeat the same mistake we made in Kerala and due to which we lost in the May 2016 assembly elections,” he said.

On the appointment of the party’s state unit’s new president in place of G. Parameshwara, Venugopal said it would be decided by the high command after his discussions with the leaders and cadres over the next two days here.