Miffed JD(S) launches attack on Congress

Miffed JD(S) launches attack on Congress

H D Revanna

An aggressive JD(S) mounted an attack on the Congress over the allocation of portfolios to Cabinet ministers and appointments to statutory boards and corporations, heightening the discord between rivals-turned-coalition partners.

The JD(S) is also said to be upset with the Congress for announcing the portfolios in the form of a press release instead of sending it to the Chief Minister directly.

Public Works Minister H D Revanna led the attack on Friday when he said his brother, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy would “tolerate” the grand old party’s behaviour “for only as long as he can”.

The outburst came when Revanna was asked about the Congress recommending one of its legislators (V Muniyappa) as Kumaraswamy’s political secretary, and also about the goings-on in the coalition.

“Kumaraswamy will tolerate it for only as long as he can. What will happen after that? We are not scared,” Revanna told reporters.  

The minister also chided the Congress for divesting Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara of the Home portfolio. “Parameshwara belongs to the SC community. He did well as home minister in the past six months. What was the need to remove him? In that party, if a Dalit becoming the home minister is not tolerated, what can I do?” he said, rejecting speculation that he pressured Parameshwara to effect transfers in the Home department.

“Why blame me? Parameshwara knows the pressure he was under from MLAs of his own party.”

The appointment of chairpersons to statutory boards/corporations has caused further friction between the alliance partners. On December 22, the Congress picked 19 of its legislators to head as many undertakings.

This is said to have irked Kumaraswamy and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, because the Congress did not consult the regional party.

According to the coalition agreement, the Congress will get two-thirds of the posts in the boards and corporations while one-third will go to the JD(S). But apparently, the parties have not discussed who should get what. For instance, the Congress has recommended chairpersons to the Northwest Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and the Karnataka Road Development Corporation, which come under the departments controlled by JD(S) ministers.

With Kumaraswamy leaving with his family for Singapore on Friday night, appointments to boards and corporations may be delayed till his return on January 1.

Meanwhile, Congress’ Chikkaballapur legislator K Sudhakar, who has been picked as Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) chairperson, cried foul on Friday accusing Kumaraswamy of blocking his appointment. “If my self-respect is hurt, I will not tolerate it,” he told reporters.

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