As CM leaves for Delhi, senior Congmen lobby for ministerial berths

As CM leaves for Delhi, senior Congmen lobby for ministerial berths

Hectic lobbying for ministerial berths has started in the ruling party as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah left for Delhi on Monday to discuss with the party high command the possibility of expanding or reshuffling his council of ministers.

Many of the aspirants, too, have left for Delhi to meet their political mentors and to mount pressure on the high command. About a dozen senior legislators, including K B Koliwad, Dr A B Maalakaraddy, H T Meti, A Manju, Veeranna Mattikatti, C S Nadagouda, Basavarajraya Reddy, Eshwar Khandre and Malikaiah Guttedar, are among the ministerial aspirants.

He is scheduled to attend a meeting of chief ministers of all the Congress-ruled states convened by party president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Tuesday. The meeting has been called to get a feedback on how the BJP-led government at the Centre has been treating the Congress-ruled states. Sonia recently held a meeting of all state Congress presidents for the same reason.

Siddaramaiah has been under intense pressure from the senior party legislators to either expand or reshuffle his council of ministers.

Though four ministerial berths have been vacant for long, the chief minister has been postponing the exercise of filling them, citing one or the other reason – winter session at Belagavi held in December 2014, later the State budget 2015-16 presentation and the subsequent gram panchayat elections which concluded recently.

On the occasion of his government completing two years in office in May this year, the chief minister had said he had plans to reshuffle his council of ministers after the gram panchayat polls. And, after the panchayat polls, he openly said he would discuss about it with the high command during his Delhi visit on Tuesday. The chief minister’s statement has given a lot of hopes to the aspirants, the party sources said.

Now, BBMP polls
The sources said Siddaramaiah would again try to postpone the exercise citing the elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is likely to be held in August this year.

The BBMP polls are crucial for the Siddaramaiah government. Efforts are on in the ruling party to get the polls postponed. In that event, the chief minister might go in for filling two or three vacant berths, sources said.

The Congress is likely to nominate directors to various boards, corporations and urban development authorities. About 600 such posts are vacant and Congress workers will be nominated. The chief minister had deferred the nomination in view of the gram panchayat polls. The government has already nominated heads to a majority of its boards and corporations.

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