Congress goes into damage control mode

Congress goes into damage control mode

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah assured disgruntled legislators on Saturday that the Cabinet will be expanded soon.

This comes a day after a dozen Congress legislators drew up plans to bunk the winter session of legislature to mount pressure for Cabinet berths. Former minister Satish Jarkiholi’s barb on the performance of the coalition government added to the panic.

“The Cabinet will be expanded soon after a discussion with AICC president Rahul Gandhi. I will meet him and discuss this after the Assembly elections to the five states,” Siddaramaiah, who also chairs the Coalition Coordination and Monitoring Committee, told reporters in Mysuru.Asked about the performance of the government, Siddaramaiah said it was too early for an appraisal. “But the coalition government is doing well,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said Jarkiholi’s comments that the government was yet to take off and that constituency grants were inadequate were his personal opinion. “There’s no need for us to react to personal opinions. The government has been working effectively. If (Jarkiholi’s) constituency works are held up, he can approach the chief minister, the party president or me,” he said.

Cooperation Minister Bandeppa Kashempur of the JD(S) defended the Kumaraswamy administration against Jarkiholi’s remarks. “It’s not true that Congress legislators aren’t getting funds,” he said.

Parameshwara maintained that Cabinet should be expanded before the start of the winter session on December 10. “I’m not aware of that,” he said, on some legislators wanting to skip the upcoming legislature session. “At least no one has told me. I don’t know if they’ve informed the party president.”