Byelection effect: Cabinet rejig may be deferred

Congress and JD(S) leaders have come to a decision that in such situation expansion should be held only after elections, a senior leader from Congress told DH.

The proposed Cabinet expansion in Karnataka is likely to be deferred till the polls are over, if Election Commission of India (ECI) announces the date for bypolls to Ramnagar and Jamkhandi Assembly constituencies.

Since the ECI is likely to announce the polls date of these two Assembly segments along with those for five state Assembly polls any day, Congress and JD(S) leaders have come to a decision that in such situation expansion should be held only after elections, a senior leader from Congress told DH.

The decision also stems from their apprehension that possible dissident activities as a fall out of the Cabinet expansion and the appointment of chairmen for boards and corporations may impact the candidates of both coalition partners in the bypoll, said the leader. 

The JD(S) is likely to field Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy as coalition candidate from Ramangar while Congress will field its candidate in Jamkhandi segment. Jamkhandi Assembly segment has fallen vacant following the death of sitting MLA Siddu Nymagouda.

Congress general secretary in charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda closeted here on Thursday for more than an hour and discussed the political developments in the state.

In the meeting, Gowda is learnt to have asked the Congress leadership to defer the expansion till the bypoll is over on the ground that any dissident activities after expansion would harm the prospect of both the parties. Venugopal has assured that he will discuss this issue with state leaders.

Kumaraswamy, who arrived in national capital on Thursday to meet Union Ministers to press for state’s pending projects, is likely to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Venugopal for discussing the issue.

Emerging out of the meeting, Venugopal told DH that Gowda gave some suggestion regarding the expansion of Cabinet and appointment for boards and corporations. His suggestion will be discussed with Rahul Gandhi and state leadership, he said.

“We both discussed the current political developments in Karnataka and stability of coalition government,” he said.

Gowda said BSP supremo Mayawati’s decision to contest on her own in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly polls, would not harm the prospect of Mahaghatbhandhan. “There is only one MLA from BSP in Karnataka and he was made minister in consultation with Congress,” he said.

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Byelection effect: Cabinet rejig may be deferred

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