After missing the Cabinet bus, sulking leaders hold meets

After missing the Cabinet bus, sulking leaders hold meets

Roshan Baig came to M B Patil house to attend meeting in Sadashivanagar, Bengaluru on Thursday. DH Photo

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah faced the ire of several Congress leaders who were left out from the Cabinet even as disgruntlement and protests in the Congress camp continued on Thursday.

Siddaramaiah, leader of the Congress Legislature Party, left for his tour of the Badami constituency but not before being confronted by upset leaders. Apparently, Bableshwar legislator M B Patil teared up while he questioned Siddaramaiah as to why his name was left out from the Cabinet.

Hoskote legislator ‘MTB’ Nagaraju also confronted Siddaramaiah. “I strongly expressed dismay at the injustice that has been meted out to me when I met Siddaramaiah,” he said. “My supporters were ready to resign en masse, but I’ve asked them to wait for a few more days while I decide my next move,” the senior MLA said.

Thursday was a day of action, with supporters of former ministers Ramalinga Reddy and R Roshan Baig staging a protest outside the Congress headquarters in Bengaluru.

The ‘upset’ leaders huddled up and held separate meetings throughout the day. There were at least four groups -H K Patil, in whose residence S R Patil, Yeshwanthrayagouda Patil, H M Revanna among others met; M B Patil, who hosted Nagaraju, Satish Jarkiholi, K Sudhakar, R Roshan Baig and others; Shamanur Shivashankarappa, who held a meeting with Eshwar Khandre and others; H Anjaneya, who met Dalit (Left) leaders. Yellapur MLA Shivaram Hebbar also joined the list of disgruntled leaders.

“There’s no denying that people are upset (over being denied Cabinet berths). This has to be fixed and remedied,” Satish Jarkiholi said. “That’s what we have discussed and it has to be brought to the notice of the party’s leadership.”

Asked why he was not included in the Cabinet while his brother Ramesh Jarkiholi got in, he said: “I don’t know why. I’m yet to talk to Siddaramaiah and find out what happened.”

H K Patil, Congress veteran who missed the Cabinet bus, said several MLAs had spoken to him personally and over phone. “We discussed how to avoid such faults from occurring. I can only say that the high command, considering everything, should take appropriate steps,” he said, while ruling out him quitting the party.

M B Patil tried to downplay the situation. While admitting that he was a ministerial aspirant, he stressed that his self-respect was hurt. Asked if he will agree to become a minister in the next round of Cabinet expansion, Patil said: “Naturally, I had an even become deputy chief minister representing north Karnataka. But I’m not a second-class citizen. I don’t have any further aspiration.”