KARNATAKA

Cabinet expansion a day after Belagavi session

JD(S) general secretary Danish Ali, Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal, coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara at the meeting in Bengaluru on Wednesday.K. MURALI KUMAR

JD(S) general secretary Danish Ali, Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal, coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara at the meeting in Bengaluru on Wednesday.K. MURALI KUMAR  

Amidst the threat of dissidence by Congress legislators, who have been seeking Cabinet berths in the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government, the coalition’s coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah on Wednesday announced that the long-awaited Cabinet expansion will take place on December 22, a day after the legislature session in Belagavi ends. It was earlier expected to be before the start of the session.

The coalition government is expecting that the announcement will soothe frayed tempers in the Congress camp, which has become restive after multiple postponements of expansion plans. The announcement came after the leaders received the nod from JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

“We have also decided to nominate chairpersons to 30 boards and corporations. Like in my time, Parliamentary Secretaries will also be appointed,” Mr. Siddaramaiah told presspersons here after the fourth coordination committee meeting.

He said that it had been decided to fill all the eight Cabinet berths (six from Congress quota and two from JD-S) and six Parliamentary Secretaries will be appointed.

On the possible names of candidates to make into the Cabinet, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the names cannot be divulged now since it has to be discussed with Mr. Gandhi. “No Congress or JD(S) MLA is resigning. The government is stable and will run for five years. Satish Jarkiholi has made it clear that he will not leave Congress,” the former Chief Minister said when asked about rumours of some ruling party legislators, including Mr. Jharkiholi, resigning.

Regarding sharing of Chairman and Deputy Chairman posts in the Legislative Council, Mr. Siddaramaiah acknowledged that the issue came up for discussion and a decision would be arrived at in a day or two.

Currently, senior JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti is pro tem Chairman of the Council, and sources in Congress said that the party had sought Chairman’s post to its nominee while letting the Deputy Chairman and chief whip posts to JD(S).

He said the issue of Hassan Congress workers, who earlier complained to him about being ignored, was also brought up at the meeting.

To another question if Mr. Venugopal himself was fermenting trouble in the party as he is alleged to be upset that legislators were not meeting him but meeting the former Chief Minister, he said: “It’s not true. MLAs are meeting him since he is involved in the party work. I’m the Legislative Party leader. What is wrong in them meeting me,” he asked.

Mr. Ali said that during the meeting, both Mr. Gowda and Mr. Gandhi were contacted and the announcement was made after receiving their nod.

CLP meeting postponed

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the scheduled CLP meeting on December 8 has been postponed and will now be held at Belagavi, the dates of which will be announced later.

Recommended for you