Rahul Gandhi to lead from front in poll-bound Karnataka: Rao

Rahul Gandhi to lead from front in poll-bound Karnataka: Rao
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BENGALURU: Rahul Gandhi would lead from the front for the Congress in Karnataka polls, launching the campaign with a three-day tour from February 10, a key state party leader said on Friday.

Working President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, Dinesh Gundu Rao, also indicated that party MLAs facing anti-incumbency in their constituencies, may not get tickets in polls, due in May.

He added that joining hands with the JD(S) in case Congress fails to get majority is not being looked at as an option as his party is confident of coming to power on its own, and also that the H D Deve Gowda-led outfit is “not dependable”.

Speaking to PTI here, Gundu Rao said Gandhi is going to be a “very key” campaigner for the Congress in the state where, he noted, it also has “very powerful” state leaders like Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, M Mallikarjuna Kharge, G Parameshwara and D K Shivakumar.
“At the same time, I think Rahulji is getting resonance amongst people, and he is leading the campaign for us,” Gundu Rao, who was here to attend an event, said.

The Congress president is starting his campaign with a three-day tour of the state from February 10. He might visit again later next month and also in March.

“In the run-up to the elections, he will be spending lot more time, and he is definitely going to lead from the front for us”, he said.
“We have started our campaign from KPCC and the chief minister has also toured the state”, he said.
“Gandhi would be intensively campaigning and you can say more or less launch of the campaign for the Congress (with his February tour),” the Congress leader added.

He claimed there is no anti-incumbency on the government because out of 165 promises made in the election manifesto, it has implemented 155-156. In fact, Gundu Rao said the Congress is seeing pro-incumbency wave creeping in, adding, it would win more number of seats than the last time.

Gundu Rao, however, said that some Congress MLAs might have “built-up” anti-incumbency in their constituencies.
“That’s what we need to look out for.

If they have not done well, we have to change then, that’s going to be the key thing,” he said.

Congress MLAs facing anti-incumbency will be “definitely changed”, as the party’s aim is to field “best available candidates”, he said.
On whether the Congress would look for an understanding with JD(S) in case it falls short on numbers in post-poll scenario, he said, “There is no question of us wanting an alliance because we are clearly in the race to get absolute majority.”

“But post-poll…what happens…who knows? I can’t predict right now. JD(S) is not dependable. They have been with BJP, they have formed government with us, they are not people who can be trusted because they don’t have ideology, don’t have fixed agenda, they can play anything; they are not dependable at all. So, I will not look at that option,” he added.