Ambareesh, Umashree, S R Patil face flak for Lok Sabha poll debacle at legislature party meeting.
Several Congress legislators, on Wednesday, are learnt to have squarely blamed some ministers for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in the State at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting on Wednesday. They demanded action against the ministers from both the party and the government.
Sources said Housing Minister M H Ambareesh, also the in-charge minister for Mandya district, came under severe criticism from Malavalli MLA P M Narendraswamy over the defeat in the Mandya seat.
The MLA alleged that the faction led by the minister had indulged in anti-party activities.
“They are responsible for the defeat. Members of the faction are still working against the party. Tough action should be taken against them,” he is learnt to have said.
Many MLAs from Bagalkot reportedly blamed IT Minister S R Patil and Women and Child Development Minister Umashree for the defeat in the Bagalkot constituency.
Badami MLA B B Chimmanakatti alleged that the party candidate lost due to the lackadaisical attitude of Patil.
Umashree was criticised for allegedly sidelining party MLAs in the district. “One has to approach touts to get any work done in the Women and Child Development and Kannada and Culture departments. The MLAs are not on the priority list of the minister, it was alleged.
Bangalore Rural MP D K Suresh is learnt to have taken exception to the absence of Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda at the meeting, but without taking his name.
“What can be more important for the minister than attending the CLP meeting? It is unbecoming of the minister,” he said. Madhugiri MLA K N Rajanna sought to know from the ministers as to why they are averse to meeting the legislators.
The chief minister gives time for MLAs, but the ministers do not. Moreover, none of the ministers is defending the chief minister whenever there is a crisis.
The chief minister is overburdened and has to deal with even simple issues like garbage disposal in Bangalore, he said.
In the meeting, the legislators were given an opportunity to air problems about their constituencies. Perhaps for the first time, officials of the chief minister’s office and the ministers concerned recorded the legislators’ complaints and suggestions.
About 25 legislators did not get an opportunity to speak in the meeting due to paucity of time. Hence, the chief minister has convened the meeting again on Monday morning. The ministers will give a reply to the complaints by legislators in the next meeting.
In his opening remarks, Siddaramaiah asked the legislators to work for the party’s victory in the upcoming elections to panchayats and BBMP.
The chief minister had convened the day-long meeting to iron out differences, if any, ahead of the legislature session scheduled to commence on June 23. Siddaramaiah also hosted a dinner for the legislators later in the day.
KPCC chief and newly-elected MLC G Parameshwara, former union minister and Chikkaballapur MP Veerappa Moily and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Gowda attended the meeting. About 30 legislators, including three ministers, kept off the meeting and most of them had obtained permission from Siddaramaiah.