Now, Bandeppa sees red as GTD eyes his portfolio

Now, Bandeppa sees red as GTD eyes his portfolio

Bandeppa Kashempur

The portfolio allocation issue in the JD(S) camp is anything but resolved.

While Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who is also the JD(S) state president, succeeded in coaxing his Cabinet colleague C S Puttaraju into accepting the charge he has been vested with, he is yet to placate senior leader G T Devegowda.

Devegowda, who has rejected the Higher Education portfolio, is now insisting that he be given the Cooperation portfolio, which has been allotted to his party colleague Bandeppa Kashempur. Devegowda, who has held talks with both Kumaraswamy and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda, has said that he wants a portfolio which can allow him to work among “people and farmers”.

Though Gowda and Kumaraswamy have agreed to change Devegowda’s portfolio, the duo are in a fix, as Kashempur is refusing to let go of the Cooperation ministry. Kashempur, who assumed office on Monday, has already held two meetings with the department officials.

Since Kashempur was in no mood to budge, party leaders are worried that this might lead to a friction between him and Devegowda. The latter has categorically refused to accept any other portfolio, sources said. Despite being sworn in as a minister almost a week ago, Devegowda is yet to assume charge.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Devegowda said, “The party leaders have agreed to change my portfolio. Kumaraswamy has assured to give me a portfolio which will allow me to work among farmers. The party will finalise its decision in a day or two. I will not assume office till then.”

Interestingly, Devegowda had earlier refused to accept the Cooperation portfolio. He had said that he had worked in the cooperation sector for several decades, and that he was looking for a different portfolio. He was eyeing Water Resources, PWD, Energy and Revenue.