With Rahul away, Cabinet expansion may be delayed

With Rahul away, Cabinet expansion may be delayed

The much-discussed expansion of council of ministers is likely to be delayed as AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi has not returned from his Italy tour.

Sources in the state Congress said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is unlikely to hold discussion on the expansion with the Delhi leaders during his visit to the national capital on June 28. He will be visiting Delhi on Wednesday to take part in the filing of the nomination papers by Meira Kumar, who is the Opposition candidate for the Presidential election.

Siddaramaiah was planning to meet Rahul during his visit to Delhi. There are three vacancies in the council of ministers. The vacancies have been created due to the death of H S Mahadeva Prasad and resignations of H Y Meti and G Parameshwara.

It was speculated that Siddaramaiah may expand the council of ministers in the first week of July. But it is likely to be delayed now.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal is learnt to have asked the party leaders in Ballari, Chikkaballapur, Kolar and Hassan districts to shun differences and work towards strengthening the party. He held separate meetings with the leaders from these districts at the KPCC office here on Tuesday. Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara were present.

Sources in the party said Ballari City MLA Anil Lad complained against Labour Minister and his cousin Santosh Lad for neglecting the party workers in the district. Anil Lad also told the AICC general secretary that the party will not be able to win any seat in the district in the next Assembly polls if steps are not taken to resolve all issues. Santosh Lad was also present in the meeting.

Venugopal, the sources said, promised Anil Lad that the party will soon form the district-level co-ordination committee to look into all the issues. Venugopal is scheduled to hold a similar meeting with the leaders from Belagavi on Thursday.

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