D.K. Shivakumar hosts breakfast meeting sans a few top Congress leaders

Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar hosting select Congress leaders for breakfast n Bengaluru on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Thursday hosted a breakfast meeting for Congress leaders at his residence, in an apparent move to assert his leadership in the party and the government, ahead of the Cabinet expansion.

Interestingly, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is believed to have played a vital role in mitigating dissidence in the party after his Europe trip, and Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who had raised a banner of revolt in the party and had differences with Mr. Shivakumar, were not at the meeting. While Mr. Jarkiholi is learnt to have abstained citing prior engagements, it is learnt that Mr. Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao were not invited. Mr. Rao said there was no need to attach undue importance to the meeting.

Mr. Shivakumar said there was no question of sidelining Mr. Siddaramaiah. “He cannot be invited to all meetings... He will be invited when it is required. But this does not mean he is being sidelined.” He said the Ministers had discussed issues related to Cabinet expansion, Lok Sabha elections, and the byelections to Ramanagaram and Jamakhandi. He added that Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande would host the next breakfast meeting.

Thursday’s meeting was the third such gathering organised by Congress leaders.

Explaining that Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy would take a decision on Cabinet expansion, Mr. Shivakumar said there would be no reshuffle of portfolios. the Minister, who is under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate, is also said to have discussed that matter with his colleagues.

Among the invitees were KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, Mr. Deshpande, Minsters U.T. Khader, N.H. Shivashankar Reddy, B.A. Zameer Ahmed Khan, and Shivanand Patil.

Change of guard?

In the aftermath of her differences with the powerful Jarkiholi brothers of Belagavi and her recent claim of being offered ₹30 crore cash and a Cabinet berth by the BJP, the Congress is contemplating replacing Laxmi Hebbalkar as head of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee women’s wing.

While some leaders have supported retaining her in the post, others have been seeking a change as she has been holding office for more than three years now, Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao said. The All-India Congress Committee women’s wing president will take a decision on the matter, he added.

Ms. Hebbalkar became president of KPCC women’s wing in May 2015.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 8:27:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dk-shivakumar-hosts-breakfast-meeting-sans-a-few-top-congress-leaders/article25126612.ece

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