Lobbying intensifies for ministerial berths

Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar speaking after paying a tribute to Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary, at the KPCC office in Bengaluru on Monday.  

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the need for a united Opposition front against the Bharatiya Janata Party seem to be the gel between the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) at least for now.

Senior Congress and JD(S) leaders are trying to convince MLAs lobbying for ministership to be ready for some sacrifices in the larger interest of the Opposition unity at least till the 2019 elections.

A senior Congress leader from the city said that Congress’s reliability as a coalition partner was under test in the State in the run-up to 2019 and the success of this government is likely to bring several regional parties towards Congress. “In this larger context, issues like Ministries are small adjustments to be made,” he said.

The sentiment is similar in the JD(S) camp as well. Senior leader Basavaraj Horatti said the entire Opposition in the country wants the experiment to succeed. Ensuring a good administration in the State to trump BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls was the top priority, he said.

As the party leaders look at the larger picture and decide to stick together at any cost, the lobbying for ministerial berths, however, continues unabated. It was because of this that the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting held on Monday in a private hotel on the city’s outskirts where the Congress legislators are holed up did not take up any serious discussion on seat sharing and ministerial berths.

Delhi visit dropped

While most Congress leaders, including ministerial aspirants, had planned to go to Delhi and lobby in their favour, they stayed back following a diktat from the high command that no discussions would be taken up till Chief Minister-designate H.D. Kumaraswamy faced the floor test. “We had to cancel the plan at the last moment as the high command strictly told us that nothing will be discussed till the floor test. We have also been told that we should not be insisting on ministerial berths or any other posts now. We should be ready to sacrifice anything in the larger interest,” said a senior MLA from the city.

The meeting ended up with senior leaders, including Siddaramaiah, G. Parameshwara, M. Mallikarjun Kharge, B.K. Hariprasad, and D.K. Shivakumar, eliciting opinion from the legislators on ministerial berths. It is also learnt that the party is keen on inducting two MLCs in the Cabinet. The names of S.R. Patil and H.M. Revanna are doing the rounds.

Coordination committee

Sources said a decision on forming the Coordination Committee has also been put off for the moment. The committee that was earlier planned to be headed by Mr. Siddaramaiah will now be set up after the floor test and formation of Cabinet.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that some Lingayat MLAs in the meeting expressed displeasure over MLA for Bableshwar M.B. Patil’s name being floated for Deputy Chief Minister’s post. Sources said the MLAs for Indi and Basavana Bagevadi Yeshwanthraygoud V. Patil and Shivanand S. Patil threatened to resign if Mr. M.B. Patil was considered even for a Minister’s post. They alleged that he had divided the Lingayats on the pretext of seeking a separate religion tag.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 5:05:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/lobbying-intensifies-for-ministerial-berths/article23953747.ece

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