Panel meet sidesteps Cabinet expansion, dy CM post

Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara told to visit Delhi for talks

The State Congress coordination committee has refused to take a call on creating the post of deputy chief minister and filling up vacancies in the State Council of ministers, even as senior party legislators mounted pressure on it, seeking ministerial berths.

Singh is understood to have asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara to come to Delhi to discuss the expansion, when the subject came up for discussion in the meeting.

 The coordination committee did not discuss about either creating the post of deputy chief minister or the expansion.

Parameshwara, who recently became an MLC, has been trying hard to get the post of deputy chief minister. About a dozen legislators including K B Koliwad, Veeranna Mattikatti, Malikaiah Guttedar, A Manju, K N Rajanna, P M Narendraswamy, Muniratna, Shivashankar Reddy and H Y Meti met Singh at Kumara Krupa guesthouse in this regard, prior to the panel meeting. 

Supporters of R V Devaraj, Eshwara Khandre and P M Ashok staged a protest in front of the KPCC main office, demanding ministerial berths for their leaders. A group of legislators had in the past demanded that the ministry should be revamped so that under-performing ministers can be dropped and opportunity given to senior legislators. 

To a question by reporters on whether the panel discussed the expansion, Singh said it is the prerogative of the chief minister and that the AICC does not interfere. Creating the post of deputy chief minister is the discretion of the chief minister, he added.

When asked about the chief minister’s statement that the party high command will decide about the expansion, he said it is something that the chief minister and the high command will look into.

The coordination panel is understood to have decided to complete the process of appointing heads to various boards and corporations by September end. 

Senior and loyal party leaders will be given priority. Singh and other AICC members are learnt to have said that ministerial aspirants can wait and the process of appointing heads to boards and corporations should be completed on priority.

Earlier, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function, Siddaramaiah said the expansion will be done after the Ganesha festival. He ruled out revamping the ministry.

'Modi wave exposed'

Singh said results of the byelections to Assembly constituencies in various states have exposed the so-called Modi wave. “The so-called Modi wave stands exposed after the bypolls. The BJP has lost many of the seats it held,” he said.

He alleged that the BJP had been trying to project cases of crime against women as ‘love jihad’ to gain political mileage. “Such communalisation needs to be condemned. The BJP has been adopting divisive politics,” he alleged.

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