Hold of 'migrants' in ministry riles old-timers

Hold of 'migrants' in ministry riles old-timers

A day after their supporters held protests and aired discontent in the media, Congress leaders who failed to make it to the Council of Ministers remained quiet on Sunday.

While some have reconciled to their fate, some are waiting for the second list, hoping that the five vacant Cabinet berths may be filled up soon.

On Saturday, supporters of A Manju, MLA from Arkalgud of Hassan district and Dr Maalakaraddy of Yadgir had hit the streets in protest against the denial of ministership to their leaders, while D K Shivakumar continued to lobby hard in Delhi to get into the Cabinet. His supporters had staged a protest in front of S M Krishna’s house on Saturday.

On Sunday, a couple of MLCs went to Delhi to demand representation for MLCs in the ministry. Otherwise, not much hue and cry was raised over the denial of berths.

Does that mean that all is well with the Siddaramaiah ministry? Sources in the Congress said that for the time being, all will keep quiet because they do not want to spoil their chances of figuring in the second list. Non-representation of nine districts (excluding Madikeri as the Congress has no MLA here) in the ministry is still keeping the hopes of aspirants from these districts alive. Once the government machinery begins moving, voices of dissent will go unheard, sources said.

For instance, Manju says it is because of his bad luck that he was not made minister.
“Let me see how things develop. The second list is yet to come. My district Hassan not been accommodated in the ministry,” he says.

Dr Maalakaraddy, a senior Congressman who was in the S M Krishna Cabinet, on Saturday expressed his displeasure over not being made a minister. On Sunday, he was not keen on answering queries from the media. Even Shivakumar remained incommunicado. The denial of berth to Raddy has surprised many in the party, while it is not so in the case of Shivakumar who does not have many friends in the party. Baburao Chinchansoor, MLA from Yadgir district, in January this year had to face a Lokayukta raid. But the inquiry did not continue, on technical grounds. Yet, he has made it to the Cabinet, surprising many.

Sources in the party said many decisions taken by Siddaramaiah or the Delhi leaders lacked reasoning. For example, Abhaychandra Jain, MLA from Moodabidri, has been elected for the fifth time. From 1972, he has remained loyal to the party. Yet, he has been made minister of state. But Shivaraj S Thangadagi had quit the Congress to join the BJP.

In 2008, he was the BJP Yuva Morcha president. When he was denied ticket by the BJP to contest from Kanakagiri reserved constituency, he contested as Independent. Later, he supported the BJP to become minister. But now, he is with the Congress. Such a party-hopper has got Cabinet rank. Probably, to give representation to Bhovi community to which he belongs, the party has accommodated him, sources said.

Cynics in the Congress say the team formed by Siddaramaiah is a ‘Janata Parivar B team’. There are not many ministers who are old-timers. They include H K Patil, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, Ramalinga Reddy, T B Jayachandra, M B Patil and Prakash Hukkeri.

However, ‘migrants’ exceed original Congressmen in the ministry. It is but natural for a ‘migrant’ like Siddaramaiah to strengthen his position in the government by having his men in the team, sources said. With KPCC president G Parameshwara losing the election, the bargaining power of the seniors in the party has reduced.

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