Cong under pressure to induct Kharge

Cong under pressure to induct Kharge

AICC General Secretary and Union Minister Gulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said he would plead with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to give one more ministerial berth to Karnataka. In an oblique reference to Kharge’s exclusion in the first round, Azad told reporters here though the selection of candidates for Cabinet berths was the prerogative of the prime minister, the demand for one more slot to Karnataka would be brought to the notice of the authorities concerned.
Kharge’s exclusion from the Union Cabinet has sparked a debate. In fact, he was a front- runner for a Cabinet berth till Friday morning, as the party high command had reportedly promised to induct him into the government while asking him to contest from the Gulbarga seat. Several leaders from Karnataka expressed surprise over the denial of berth to Kharge and demanded his induction into the government.
KPCC president R V Deshpande met Sonia Gandhi and her political secretary Ahmad Patel here on Saturday and demanded Kharge’s induction. Though Deshpande refused to divulge the details of the meetings, he said: “Let us hope to get one more ministerial berth in the Cabinet for Karnataka.”
Earlier, at a tea party hosted in honour of the new ministers—S M Krishna, M Veerappa Moily—by the Congress state unit at the Karnataka Bhavan, party State unit working president D K Shivakumar urged Azad to put pressure on the high command to give one more berth to Karnataka.

Kharge skips party

Interestingly, a sulking Kharge skipped the tea party. However, other senior leaders, including former chief minister Dharam Singh, attended the function. Sources close to Kharge said he had not been invited. Asked about Kharge’s absence, Deshpande said: “I had asked the KPCC office-bearers to invite all leaders who were staying in Delhi. I think Kharge might have left for Bangalore yesterday (Friday) itself.”
Kharge, however, said he was unaware of the function, as he was undergoing treatment for a  knee problem.

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