Ramesh Jarkiholi skips DKS' breakfast meet

Ramesh Jarkiholi skips DKS' breakfast meet

Siddaramaiah not invited

Congress ministers meet at Water Resource Minister D K Shivakumar's house in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH photo.

In an attempt to assert himself among partymen, Water Resource Minister D K Shivakumar hosted a breakfast meeting for Congress ministers on Thursday.

The meeting comes ahead of the second round of cabinet expansion, which is slated to happen before October 15.

This is the third such meeting organised by the Congress leaders. Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara had earlier hosted similar breakfast meetings.

Jarkiholi skips the meet

While almost all Congress ministers were present during the meeting, Municipalities Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who was recently in a turf war with Shivakumar, was conspicuous by his absence.

Ramesh is learnt to have excused himself citing prior engagements. He is said to be in Mumbai.

Ramesh, who was upset with Shivakumar's interference in Belagavi politics had threatened to raise a banner of revolt recently. The party had however eventually pacified him.

But his absence during the meeting today, indicates that all is not well between him and Shivakumar.

Mines and Geology Minister Rajashekar Patil was the other minister who didn't make it to the meeting.

'Siddaramaiah not sidelined'

Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao were not invited for the meeting, fueling speculations. Interestingly, KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre was among the invitees. Speaking to reporters later, Shivakumar said that he had not sidelined Siddaramaiah.

"Siddaramaiah cannot be invited for all meetings -- he will be invited when it is required. But this doesn't mean that he is being sidelined. Today's breakfast meeting was organised as per his advise. Dinesh Gundu Rao is not here because he is traveling abroad," he said, adding that the next breakfast meeting would be hosted by Revenue Minister R V Deshpande.

Shivakumar also said that the ministers had discussed issues pertaining to the cabinet expansion, Lok Sabha elections, and Ramanagara and Jamakhandi by poll.

Stating that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy would take a call on the cabinet expansion, Shivakumar however said that there would be no reshuffle.

Shivakumar, who is under the Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner, is also said to have discussed the matter with his colleagues. The ED has booked a money laundering case against Shivakumar.