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Rahul Gandhi's Karnataka visit expected to boost drooping Congress's spirits

PTI 02 Jun 2012, 13:58:24 IST
Bangalore,Jun 2 : Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will be on  two-day visit to Karnataka from Saturday.

This visit is expected to give a boost to the spirit of the party, which is trying to cash in on internal strife in the ruling party,BJP.

Congress has suffered  due to party opposition leader in the assembly Siddaramaiah resigning his post.

Siddaramaiah  was upset over the national leadership denying nomination to his candidate, former union minister CM Ibrahim, for the June 11 Legislative Council election.

Rahul will address a Youth Congress' national executive meeting in Bangalore before leaving for Davangere to meet district heads of Congress committees and block presidents.

“The Congress hopes Rahul's visit will give the much needed impetus to strengthen the party organisation,” Youth Congress leader Mohan Asundi said.

The party's choice of Hubli and Davangere is seen as ‘important' as they fall in a Lingayat-dominated territory.

BJP in Karnataka is facing tough times as  BS Yeddyurappa challenging the national leadership for not reinstating him as chief minister after being asked to relinquish his post following his indictment in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining in July last year.

The party benefited hugely from BJP's infighting in the recent Chikmagalur-Udupi Lok Sabha by-poll, where its candidate Jayaprakash Hegde got elected.

Hegde's victory for the seat, vacated by Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, has bolstered Congress' ambition to come back to power.

Congress is also closely watching moves of Yeddyurappa, who had on May 30 claimed the state is likely to go in for early polls.

Last month Sonia Gandhi visited Tumkur and met Shivakumara Swami of Siddhaganga Mutt, who commands influence among Lingayats.

Congress has been trying to come back to power after losing it in 2004 and faring very badly in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in which it won only six of 28 seats.