MLAs miffed over JD(S)-Cong coalition

MLAs miffed over JD(S)-Cong coalition

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Dy Chief Minister G Parameshwara. DH file photo.

Disgruntlement is stirring up within the state Congress as the party’s sitting and former legislators have lodged a complaint with the leadership against the way the Congress-JD(S) coalition government is functioning.

The legislators’ grouse is that works pertaining to their constituencies are not happening as expected, and the inaccessibility of ministers, especially those from the JD(S), is adding to the disgruntlement, according to sources in the state Congress.

Besides allocation and release of grants for development works, legislators are chasing ministers to have officials from the Police, Revenue and Public Works departments transferred in their constituencies. The aggrieved legislators are of the view that if they are not deriving any benefit from the coalition, the party in turn will not benefit as well.

The development assumes significance as a section of leaders within the party is already unhappy over the high command’s decision to join hands with the JD(S). The state leadership is, however, doing everything possible to sooth tempers running high, keeping the coming Lok Sabha polls in mind.

At a meeting chaired by Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao earlier this month, Yeshwanthpur MLA S T Somashekhar minced no words when he pointed out how “arrogant” the ministers had become. “When we go into their chambers, the ministers don’t even look at us. They spoke affably when they were legislators, but after becoming ministers, they don’t care a hoot about us,” he stated.

Some Congress MLAs, especially those from Bengaluru, have also expressed concern that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s farm loan waiver could eat into their grants that they received so generously under the previous Siddaramaiah government.

Arm-twisting tactics

It is also learnt that some of the aggrieved legislators had been claiming that they were being wooed by the BJP in an attempt to draw the party’s attention. The KPCC president himself has publicly acknowledged that the BJP was in touch with Congress MLAs.

However, the party is viewing these complaints as a tactic to mount pressure over the impending Cabinet expansion and appointments to boards and corporations, given that those throwing tantrums are aspirants themselves.

There is also a demand to convene a meeting of the Siddaramaiah-led Coalition Coordination and Monitoring Committee to discuss these issues. The committee has met only twice so far - on June 14 and July 1.

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