Congress may include young faces in Cabinet

Congress may include young faces in Cabinet

Dr G Parameshwara, Deputy Chief Minister, and H D Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister

A day after the coalition partners in the state government finalised their share of portfolios, suggestions were made to prefer freshers for ministerial berths, at the Congress office bearers’ meeting on Saturday.

Suggestions that those who served as ministers for two terms in the previous governments be deputed for party work came up at the meeting of office bearers of various district units of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in Bengaluru.

“There were suggestions that those who already had an opportunity to serve as ministers be left out at least from the first round of Cabinet expansion. It will be conveyed to the party high command,” KPCC president G Parameshwara told reporters.

The Congress has 22 ministerial berths as part of the power-sharing agreement with the JD(S). Party chief Rahul Gandhi, who is abroad, will return to New Delhi on June 4. He too is keen on making young leaders ministers, it is said. The party is likely to include  young leaders in the H D Kumaraswamy Cabinet, a report from New Delhi said.

However, sidelining of seniors could lead to dissent in the party. Seniors and multi-term legislators like R V Deshpande, H K Patil, D K Shivakumar, K J George, Roshan Baig and Shamanur Shivashankarappa, who are among the 77 Congress MLAs elected to the 15th Assembly, have been ministers more than twice. The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the polls but failed to mop up the numbers required for government formation, is already fishing in troubled waters.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday had announced that he will expand his council of ministers on June 6. Though the Congress and the JD(S) ended the tussle over portfolios on Friday, leaders in the Congress camp are not too happy with the arrangement.

They feel that the regional party has walked away with all the important and revenue-generating portfolios. Kanakapura MLA D K Shivakumar, who was eyeing the energy portfolio, is said to be the most upset, as he feels that the JD(S) has meted injustice to him yet again. It is not just the Congress MLAs who are discontented with the portfolio-sharing. Senior JD(S) leaders, including G T Devegowda, is said to be upset with his party leadership for not paying heed to his demands.

G T Devegowda is among those who are likely to be inducted into Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet. He was eyeing Water Resources and Revenue. But both portfolios have gone to the Congress. He voiced his discontent to his party leaders by demanding that he be given either PWD or Energy portfolios. Interestingly, party supremo H D Deve Gowda is said to have got the two portfolios allotted to the JD(S), to accommodate his son H D Revanna. Revanna has been eyeing both Energy and PWD.

Grouse over pact with JD(S)

  • A section of functionaries at the KPCC meeting are said to have expressed unhappiness about the JD(S)-Congress coalition on Saturday. It was ironic that the party was reduced to extending unconditional support to the JD(S), which has garnered a mere 38 seats, some office bearers are learnt to have said.
  • Parameshwara is learnt to have told the office bearers that the party was forced to take the decision to keep the BJP out of power.