Power struggle of a different kind

Power struggle of a different kind

Power struggle of a different kind

As the new Karnataka government led by Jagadish Shettar copes with the discontent over distribution of portfolios to ministers, Karnataka Bhavan, symbol of the state in the nation’s capital witnessed yet another kind of power struggle on Saturday.

Staff of the Karnataka government guest house were in a quandary as Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka wanted to reserve an exclusive suite for him as per his “status” in the government.

The minister, who landed in the city on Saturday evening along with Chief Minister Shettar to meet party brass, stayed back for the night. It is learnt that Ashok, on his first visit to Karnataka Bhavan after being sworn as one of Shettar’s two deputies, enquired about facilities he was entitled to in keeping with his elevated status as deputy chief minister. “Why can’t I have an exclusive room like the CM does? As I am above among rest of the cabinet colleagues, why can’t you treat me differently?” he reportedly asked the Bhavan staff. He was also wanted to know from the Bhavan officials about the protocol facilities entitled for him according to his designation.

The staff said they had no instructions to provide him with an exclusive suite or to accord elevated protocol facilities. When the officials requested him to take one of the existing suites for ministers, Ashoka wanted to occupy the old Chief Minister’s Suite in the main Karnataka Bhavan, which has exclusive, dining hall, pantry, meeting hall and an office.

The officials explained that the suite was closed for repairs. As for his request for “enhanced” facilities and protocol, they would discuss with their superiors and would try to accommodate him during his next trip.

At present exclusive suites are being reserved only to CM, Governor and Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court while rest are including Ministers are being allotted available 10 suites. As the post of the DCM had no Constitutional status and was purely an arrangement, officials here are in spot over how to deal the situation.
Expecting that the other DCM, K S Eshwarappa too may come up with similar demands, the Bhavan staff have decided to bring this matter to the Chief Secretary’s notice immediately.  

Sources in the Department of Personal and Administration (DPAR) in Bangalore, which deals with Karnataka Bhavan affairs, told Deccan Herald that so far they don’t have any plan to extend extra facilities to DCMs as these posts are equivalent to any other cabinet minister. However matter would be brought to the Chief Secretary and CM notice, they said.

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