Cong hopes Cabinet expansion will shrink dissent

Cong hopes Cabinet expansion will shrink dissent

Currently, there are seven vacancies in the Cabinet headed by Kumaraswamy. (DH File Photo)

Faced with disgruntlement among its leaders, the state Congress is learnt to have drawn up a plan to accommodate more than two dozen of its legislators either in the state Cabinet or boards and corporations.

The senior party leaders have prepared a list of probable candidates for this purpose.

The plan is to expand the Cabinet and appoint heads of boards and corporations simultaneously – which is likely to happen between October 10 and 15, if the Congress
high command gives its approval.

Currently, there are seven vacancies in the Cabinet headed by Kumaraswamy. Of this, the Congress’ quota is six, while one is for the JD(S). About 18 to 20 legislators, most of whom are MLAs, will be appointed as heads of important boards and corporations, sources in the Congress said.

The Congress is having a tough time dealing with the upset party leaders as they have repeatedly threatened to raise a banner of revolt. A majority of these leaders are ministerial aspirants and their efforts are seen as only pressure tactics.

Recently, the Jarkiholi brothers had revolted, demanding among other things, ministerial berths for their MLA friends.

Some of these Congress MLAs had threatened to rebel, giving jitters to the party.

Besides, many of the senior leaders were openly expressing their dissatisfaction with the way the JD(S)-Congress coalition government had been functioning, causing immense embarrassment.

Sources said the state leaders are likely to propose the names of Tukaram (Sandur); C S Shivalli (Kundgol); B M Patil (Bableshwar); Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout); Sangameshwar (Bhadravati) or B C Patil (Hirekerur); Nazeer Ahmed (MLC) or Raheem Khan (Bidar); and Laxmi Hebbalkar (Belagavi Rural) or Roopa Shashidar (KGF) for filling the vacancies in the Cabinet.

However, the Jarkiholi brothers are mounting pressure to induct Nagendra (Ballari), instead of Tukaram. The brothers are also against Laxmi getting into the Cabinet.

Senior leader R Roshan Baig (Shivajinagar) is trying hard to get a Cabinet berth under the Bengaluru quota, but the state leaders are of the view that Ramalinga Reddy would be a better choice as he would play a key role in Bengaluru South parliamentary constituency in the next Lok Sabha polls.

This apart, there is a long list of ministerial aspirants in the party. The state leadership is of the view that those who are denied ministerial berths could be accommodated in boards and corporations.