Congress stares at rebellion ahead of Cabinet expansion

Ramalinga Reddy

With close to two dozen aspirants vying with each other to get ministerial berths in the party, the threat of rebellion is looming large over the state Congress ahead of the June 12 expansion of the H D Kumaraswamy Cabinet.

Anticipating trouble before the expansion, AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal is likely to arrive in Bengaluru either on Monday or Tuesday.

He along with Congress legislator party leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao is expected to hold discussions with the ministerial aspirants in order to douse the discontentment.

Of the three positions vacant in the Cabinet, one will be accommodated from the Congress’ quota and two from the JD(S). Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had initially planned to induct two independents – R Shankar (Ranebennur) and N Nagesh (Mulbagal) under the JD(S) quota. But JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda is said to be insisting that independents be accommodated under both the Congress and the JD(S) quotas.

According to JD(S) sources, Gowda wants to accommodate a minority community leader in the Cabinet from his party. And JD(S) MLC B M Farooq is said to be the front runner. Farooq, who is a business man from Dakshina Kannada district, is considered a moneybag.

If Gowda has his way, the Congress cannot accommodate any of its aspirants during the expansion.

Sensing that his party may give in to Gowda’s demand, Congress MLA from Hirekekur B C Patil, who is a Lingayat, accused his party of neglecting the Lingayat community on Saturday. 

Senior leaders aspiring to be ministers such as Ramalinga Reddy and Roshan Baig have openly threatened the party of consequences if it continues to ignore them.

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