New Delhi: Digvijaya Singh has been removed by Congress as the party’s in-charge in Goa and Karnataka. The decision comes nearly a month after the Congress failed to form a government in Goa despite emerging as the single largest party. Singh has been ridiculed by opponents and colleagues post the defeat.
He has been replaced in Goa by A Chellakumar and Lok Sabha member KC Venugopal in Karnataka.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi has assigned the tasks of looking after Karnataka and Goa affairs to new AICC teams. While KC Venugopal has been made general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, A Chellakumar has been made AICC in-charge of Goa,” party general secretary Janaradan Dwivedi said in a statement.
In elections held in February, the Congress managed to win 17 of the total 40 seats in Goa. However, as it took too long to make up its mind on post-poll alliances, the BJP quickly stitched up partnerships with regional parties and formed the government under former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
In his farewell speech in the Rajya Sabha last month, Mr Parrikar took a jibe at Mr Singh and said, “My special thanks to honourable member Digvijaya Singh, who happened to be in Goa but did nothing so that I could form the government.”
The Congress’ inability to form the government in Goa also led to the resignation of Vishwajit Rane – who was seen as a possible Chief Ministerial candidate in Goa – from the party. Mr Rane, now a BJP member, openly criticised Mr Singh and accused him of “mismanagement”.
The Congress has removed Mr Singh, a former two-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, as its in-charge in Karnataka, one of the few states currently held by the party. Assembly elections in the state will be held next year and the Congress would not want to relive it Goa experience.