Sulking Congress MLAs meet Digvijay, seek Cabinet berths

Sulking Congress MLAs meet Digvijay, seek Cabinet berths

Dissatisfied senior MLAs of the ruling Congress party on Sunday urged AICC Karnataka in charge Digvijay Singh to take up another expansion of the State Cabinet and accommodate them before the Lok Sabha polls.

Senior leaders K B Koliwad, Malikaiah Guttedar, Dr A B Maalaka Raddy, Shivanand Patil and others met him at the Kumara Krupa guesthouse separately. Singh arrived in Bangalore on Sunday to attend the KPCC coordination committee meeting scheduled to be held on Monday.

More MLAs including K N Rajanna and R V Devraj are likely to meet Singh on Monday. The dissatisfied MLAs from north Karnataka were planning to meet him together at 7 pm on Sunday. But Singh is learnt to have given them appointment separately.

The decision to induct D K Shivakumar and Roshan Baig into the Cabinet has triggered dissent in the ruling party. Senior MLAs, especially from north Karnataka, have expressed disappointment at the decision and have been mounting pressure on the party leaders to give them berths. Three more ministerial berths are still vacant in the Siddaramaiah ministry.

When contacted, Koliwad said he has urged Singh to induct him before the coming Lok Sabha polls.
“I am the senior most MLA in the party. I have worked for the party since 1970. So I requested him (Singh) to give me an opportunity to serve as a minister. I also told him that eight to nine senior MLAs should be given key positions in the government before the elections,” he stated.

Guttedar, who has been vocal in his demand for a Cabinet berth, said he has told Singh that injustice has been meted out to north Karnataka. “I am also a six-time MLA and contributed immensely for the party’s growth. Making senior MLAs ministers will help the party in the crucial elections to Parliament,” he added.

Maalaka Raddy said people of north Karnataka are upset for not accommodating senior MLAs from the region in the ministry.

Though there are 58 Congress MLAs from north Karnataka, only 12 of them have been made ministers. Of 62 MLAs from south Karnataka, 19 have been made ministers. All these information has been given to Singh, he added.

Sources said the party is unlikely to take up another round of expansion before the elections. Instead, it would pacify the MLAs by nominating them as heads of important boards and corporations.

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