Cong MLAs form another group to counter rebels

Cong MLAs form another group to counter rebels

 A new camp of Congress legislators emerged on Saturday to oppose disgruntled leaders whose behaviour over the last couple of days has left the party embarrassed.

KR Puram legislator B A Basavaraja (Byrathi), a close confidant of former chief minister Siddaramaiah, is anchoring the plan by bringing together 40 party MLAs in an attempt to demonstrate unity and send out a message to the disgruntled leaders, especially former minister M B Patil.

The 40 MLAs - Rajarajeshwari Nagar MLA Munirathna, Yeshwanthpur MLA S T Somashekar, Anekal MLA B Shivanna among others - are likely to meet on Monday.

“The idea of the meeting is to tell those who are disgruntled and throwing tantrum that what they are doing is wrong. We must act within the party’s boundary and the party should not suffer damage because of what we do,” Basavaraja told DH. “In fact, there is no disgruntlement in the party. It’s just some people who are hungry for power and trying to serve personal interests.”  

Basavaraja minced no words while expressing anger over Patil, whom he did not identify by name. In a specific reference to Patil, Basavaraja said: “If you are claiming support of MLAs, why didn’t you ensure Lingayats won in large numbers? The entire community rejected the Congress because of the separate religion issue,” he said. Patil led the demand for a ‘religious minority’ status for the Lingayat faith. Basavaraja himself was a ministerial aspirant. “It’s true, but I’ll become a minister when the time comes. I won’t resort to what others are doing,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Congress continued to douse the fire of disgruntlement with Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar reaching out to senior leaders H K Patil and R Roshan Baig on Saturday evening. Both H K Patil and Baig are reportedly sulking because they were not picked to become ministers.

Supporters of former minister Ramalinga Reddy staged a protest at Town Hall in the city, while supporters of Shidlaghatta legislator V Muniyappa and MLC Ivan D’Souza picketed outside Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara’s house demanding their leaders be made ministers.