The Congress high command has also been under pressure from Karnataka’s state unit to drop Mr Singh.
New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday dropped its powerful leader Digvijay Singh as in-charge of Goa — where the party failed to come to power despite emerging as the single-largest party — and Karnataka where the party hopes to retain power in next year’s elections.
Mr Singh, who remains in charge of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, said he was happy that a new team was finally being picked by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. “I enjoyed working with Congress leaders and workers in Goa and Karnataka. Convey my gratitude for all their support. I am loyal to the party and the Nehru-Gandhi family and owe my position to them,” he tweeted.
Known for his proximity to the party high command, Mr Singh faced criticism after the Goa debacle, with state unit chief Luizinho Faleiro blaming him for the party’s inability to form government.
Mr Faleiro claimed that the Congress had the support of 21 MLAs needed to form government, but Mr Singh waited for the governor’s invite to stake claim. Mr Singh became a target of ridicule within the Congress after former defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who took over as Goa CM, thanked him “for doing nothing in Goa”.
The Congress high command has also been under pressure from Karnataka’s state unit to drop Mr Singh. Lok Sabha MP K.C. Venugopal replaced Mr Singh in Karnataka. For Goa, the Congress appointed Tamil Nadu’s A. Chelakumar considered close to the “Sonia Gandhi camp”.