'KCV' makes smooth transition from Rajasthan to Alappuzha

K.C. Venugopal has shown exceptional skill in resolving tough situations, and is known for his deft handling of crucial issues

K.C. Venugopal in Alappuzha (photo: @kcvenugopalmp/X)
K.C. Venugopal in Alappuzha (photo: @kcvenugopalmp/X)

Prakash Bhandari

In December 2018, when the Congress was set to form the government in Rajasthan, it was the single largest party, but still needed the support of Independents and the BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) to run a sustainable government. K.C. Venugopal had taken over as general secretary (organisation) of the AICC (All India Congress Committee) six months ago. It was he, along with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, who managed to muster the support of both Independents and the BSP.

But there was another problem to solve. Between Gehlot and Pilot, who would be chief minister? It was a stiff test for Venugopal as AICC in-charge for Rajasthan. Painstakingly, he spoke to each Congress MLA and asked their views on who should be the chief minister. Later, he apprised the party’s central leadership about Gehlot being the popular choice, upon which Venugopal, Rahul Gandhi and Pilot sat together and agreed on Gehlot as chief minister, with Pilot as his deputy.

Venugopal’s operation was smooth as a knife slicing through butter. As the party’s in-charge for Rajasthan, he built personal rapport with the MLAs, and when elections for the Rajya Sabha seat was to be held in 2020, Venugopal was the AICC's choice to contest from Rajasthan, along with Neeraj Dangi.

But now, Venugopal has been elected a member of the Lok Sabha from Alappuzha in Kerala, which had elected earlier too, during the tenure of the UPA government under Manmohan Singh. Before that, he had served as a minister in the Kerala government before jumping into national politics.

Ever since being made a general-secretary of the party in 2017, Venugopal has shown exceptional skill in resolving tough situations, and is known for his deft handling of crucial issues. In the recent Lok Sabha elections, he could devote very little time to his own constituency, busy as he was organising the party’s election campaign.

Venugopal’s Rajya Sabha tenure would have ended in 2026, but he opted to contest the election from Kerala to show that he wanted to be in the lower House, so he now resigns from the Rajya Sabha to sit in the Lok Sabha.

Over the years, Rajasthan has sent Dr Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Anand Sharma, Natwar Singh, Pramod Tiwari, Randeep Singh Surjewala, and Mukul Wasnik to the Rajya Sabha.

The state will witness five by-elections as five candidates who were part of the INDIA bloc and are members of the state Assembly have been elected to the Lok Sabha. They are Hanuman Beniwal (Rashtriya Loktantrik Party), Raj Kumar Roat (Bhartiya Adivasi Party), Brijendra Ola (Jhunjhunu) and Harish Meena (Uniara). The state legislature has 115 members from the BJP and 69 from the Congress.

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