Hang on till LS polls, Congress tells disgruntled MLAs

This was the central message at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, amid disgruntlement among party legislators over the way the coalition functioned, in that they were unable to get any work done in the H D Kumaraswamy-led government. DH photo.

The Congress’ leadership on Tuesday urged party legislators to “soldier on” and put up with any hurdles that may come their way in the Congress-JD(S) coalition set-up in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

This was the central message at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, amid disgruntlement among party legislators over the way the coalition functioned, in that they were unable to get any work done in the H D Kumaraswamy-led government.

The alliance with the JD(S) is crucial for the Congress in a bid to keep the BJP out of power.

The grand old party has formally announced a pre-poll alliance with the regional party for the Lok Sabha polls.

Still, the CLP meeting served as a platform for legislators to air their grouse. Apparently, they pointed out how Kumaraswamy was trying to micromanage things right down to the level of a constituency. “This is undermining us, be it on the issue of transfer of officials to getting grants released to take up development works,” the legislators said in unison, with some accusing Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara of not safeguarding their interests.

This disgruntlement among legislators, many of whom are ministerial aspirants, has kept the Congress on the edge.

The party is fearful that the BJP may capitalise on this sentiment.

“Problems faced by legislators were discussed and the party leaders gave an assurance that they will be solved and that the party would stand with them,” Food and Civil Supplies Minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan told reporters.

CLP leader Siddaramaiah, KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, senior leader M Veerappa Moily among others impressed upon party legislators that it was their responsibility to ensure the coalition with the JD(S) was intact. The MLAs were also sounded off to beware of any attempts by the BJP to lure them.

Expansion of the Cabinet, which was to have happened now, has been put on hold till October first week. There are seven vacant Cabinet berths. The Congress can fill up six of them and the party hopes to placate disgruntled legislators with these berths.

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