Congress to lay out conditions for ministerial posts

Congress to lay out conditions for ministerial posts

With too many leaders aspiring for ministerial berths, the Congress high command is likely to lay out guidelines, based on which ministers will be selected, keeping in mind caste and regional equations.

A delegation comprising state party president and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, former minister D K Shivakumar and others flew to Delhi on Saturday to hold discussions with the high command.

The high command will spell out parameters to filter out aspirants, something the state unit has struggled with.

Party president Rahul Gandhi is slated to leave for the US in afternoon.

The Congress’ state unit is not entirely satisfied with the candidates shortlisted and leaders want to ensure that caste and regional representation are considered.

Selection of ministers is crucial for the Congress to ensure that the Congress-JD(S) coalition government runs smoothly ahead of the 2019 elections.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is arriving in New Delhi on Sunday for talks with Congress leaders. “The JD(S) will draw up a list of who from their party should become ministers,” Parameshwara said. Earlier in the day, Kumaraswamy said there were some “issues” surrounding the allocation of portfolios. “But it’s not something that’ll bring the government down.” He said the Cabinet expansion will take place once the Congress leaders get their list approved from their high command.

The JD(S) is ready with its list of ministerial aspirants and Vokkaliga MLAs have got a lion’s share.

It is unclear on whether or not the JD(S) will accommodate N Mahesh (Kollegal) of the BSP, with whom the party had a pre-poll alliance.

According to sources, the JD(S) has asked for five key portfolios — finance, revenue, water resources, PWD and energy — leaving the Congress with home, rural development, transport and Bengaluru development.

Many senior Congress leaders who were ministers in the previous government are seeking berths, whereas the party is also under pressure to accommodate fresh faces, including four women legislators.

Party MLAs such as Abbayya Prasad, Amaregouda Bayyapur, Pratapgouda Patil and P T Parameshwar Naik queued up outside Parameshwara’s residence on Saturday to lobby for ministerial berths. Parameshwara said he had not sought any portfolio in particular. “It’s a media creation that I have asked for the Home department. I will accept whatever portfolio the party decides,” he said.

The party is also under pressure to create another deputy chief minister’s post. Veteran leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa, backed by the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha, former urban development minister R Roshan Baig and former small-scale industries minister Satish Jarkiholi has demanded the post.

The high command will also decide who should replace Parameshwara as the KPCC president and names of candidates who should contest the upcoming Legislative Council polls. Of the 11 seats for which elections will be held on June 11, the Congress can elect four, the BJP five and JD(S) two.


Drama in Delhi

  • Ministry formation drama shifts to Delhi
  • Too many aspirants for ministerial berths
  • Caste and regional representation a concern