Rid Cabinet of unwanted elements, says ex-MP

Rid Cabinet of unwanted elements, says ex-MP

Vishwanath warns against growing clout of ministers' sons

Weeks after senior Congress party leader Janardhan Poojary literally cracked a whip, asking Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to drop ‘deadwood’ from his Cabinet in the interest of the organisation, former Member of Parliament A H Vishwanath, on Wednesday, echoed similar opinion.

Poojary had criticised the government during the inauguration of the divisional-level ‘Gram Swaraj’ meeting in the city, ahead of the recently held Zilla and Taluk Panchayat elections.

Addressing media, in the backdrop of the party’s failure to gain a majority in Mysuru Zilla Panchayat, Vishwanath, attributed the party’s drubbing, especially in the chief minister’s home turf, to the ‘not-so-good behaviour of some ministers and MLAs’.

Vishwanath demanded the chief minister to take the results seriously and drop some ministers from the Cabinet. Or else, it would be difficult for the party to hold on to power in the next election.

Taking no names, Vishwanath charged that “There are some ministers who are bringing disrepute to the party. For them, their own constituencies are akin to State and have never stepped out of them. So, the party has failed miserably in the panchayat elections in several constituencies. It would be better to drop such ministers and accommodate eligible MLAs”.

Without taking the name of Housing and Mandya District In-charge Minister M H Ambareesh, Vishwanath said, though the State government had set aside Rs 2,280 crore for creating housing facilities for the poor in the Budget-2014, there is no mention of it by the minister even once. If other ministers also become nonchalant, failing to highlight the programmes initiated by the government, it would be detrimental to the ruling dispensation and also the party.

Vishwanath warned against the growing clout of ‘ministers’ sons’, who are calling the shots — both in office and at home. “Such VIP sons are addressed as ‘Chikka Sahebru’ and fathers ‘Dodda Sahebru’. Strangely, it is only after ‘Chikka Sahebru’ gives his consent, the latter will act.

Vishwanath said that not many within the party would dare to ‘call a spade a spade’, but would certainly raise the demand for changing incapable ministers with capable MLAs in the party meeting. “We are like human bombs, who will certainly explode, at an appropriate time”, said Vishwanath.

However, Vishwanath clarified that changing the chief minister was not the only solution for the crises currently plaguing the party.

The change in leadership will be a loss, both to the party and State, as evident with past experiences where the party even lost power. Instead, the Cabinet should be rid of ‘unwanted elements’.