Discontent goes beyond Cabinet formation: H K Patil

Discontent goes beyond Cabinet formation: H K Patil

H K Patil, DH file photo

A wary Congress reached out to its sulking senior leader H K Patil, who held a marathon six-hour meeting with some of the disgruntled legislators on Tuesday.

Patil got into a huddle with legislators Eshwar Khandre (Bhalki), S N Subbareddy (Bagepalli), Sharanabasappa Darshanapur (Shahapur), Umesh Jadhav (Chincholi), MLC Basavaraj Patil Itagi among others. AICC secretaries Manickam Tagore and P C Vishnunadh also joined the meeting.

“We have conveyed our feelings and viewpoints to the AICC secretaries and that will be conveyed to the higher-ups,” Patil, a former minister, told DH. Patil is miffed that he was not picked to become a minister and has internally questioned the party leadership seeking to know on what grounds ministers were chosen.  

The Gadag strongman said his ongoing discussions with fellow party legislators went beyond the way names were picked for the Cabinet. “There is regional imbalance and injustice to regional representation, violation of parameters and there are things about the way the party is functioning,” Patil said. “Also, it’s about how to make sure this government functions well and becomes popular and how the Congress can get the credit for that,” he added.

Patil’s name is on the grapevine for the post of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, which is currently held by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara. Patil, however, neither admitted nor denied that he was in the race.  

Meanwhile, KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said it was certain that the party high command would appoint a new party president. “Parameshwara is deputy chief minister and holds two prominent portfolios. So, a fresh face will be brought in,” Rao told reporters.

Rao, a former minister himself, asserted that he was senior enough to take up the responsibility if it came his way. “I’m a senior in the party. I’m a five-time MLA. I’m also the working president. How does that make me a junior,” he asked. “I am not wary that other leaders in the party will not support me if I’m made the party president. People in the party know what I am,” he said.