Fissures evident in Karnataka Cabinet formation

Senior Congress leader and president of the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiava Mahasabha Shamanur Shivashankarappa. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

With too many aspirants for ministerial berths from the Congress in the coalition government, the State Cabinet formation is turning out to be a tricky task.

Several dominant and minor caste/religious groups have been lobbying hard for ministerial berths for their members. Knowing well that Cabinet formation is crucial for getting down to business, the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders have expressed confidence that the Ministry formation will be done and dusted by next week.

Though Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara said he was “unaware of any talks” on the appointment of another Deputy Chief Minister’s post, senior Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, president of the Akhila Bharatha Veerashaiava Mahasabha, an umbrella organisation of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat sect, called on JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, seeking his support for granting the Dy. Chief Minister’s post for the community.

Leaders summoned

Meanwhile, the Congress high command has summoned State leaders such as former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha M. Mallikarjun Kharge, Deputy Chief Minister and Congress president G. Parameshwara and AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal to New Delhi on Saturday for further discussions.

All the senior Congress leaders are expected to leave for New Delhi on Friday after the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the floor test, sources said.

The high command is set to discuss three other prominent issues — appointment of new State Congress president; formation of the coordination committee that will liaise between the coalition partners; and the strategy up-coming elections to Rajarajeshwarinagar and Jayanagar constituencies. Both coalition partners have fielded their candidates in both constituencies.

Sonia unhappy

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and president Rahul Gandhi, who were in Bengaluru on Thursday during the formation of the coalition government, have addressed legislators and told them not to lobby for ministerial berths for any party legislator. Sources said Ms. Gandhi was upset over the pressure tactics adopted by a few supporters of former Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar, who has been sulking. after being denied a key post during the government formation.

Mr. Shivakumar, who marshalled all his resources to keep the Congress flock together for over a week, has been lobbying hard for the party president’s post as well as a Cabinet berth. However, Dr. Parameshwara, who has been heading the party for the past eight years, said the high command would take a decision on his continuation or appointment of a new president. “I am happy if the experienced leader becomes the party president,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 6:54:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/fissures-evident-in-karnataka-cabinet-formation/article23980930.ece

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