Miffed Congress seniors to huddle in Belagavi today

The group has former ministers Ramalinga Reddy, H M Revanna, R Roshan Baig and the likes of M T B Nagaraj and K Shivamurthy Naik. “We will meet on Monday to discuss the disappointments,” one of them told DH.

A group of senior Congress leaders is planning to go into a huddle in Belagavi on Monday to mount pressure on an already faction-ridden party ahead of the promised December 22 Cabinet expansion.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition coordination and monitoring committee, headed by Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, has already announced that the Kumaraswamy Cabinet will be expanded on December 22.

Eight of the 34 Cabinet positions are vacant, of which the Congress can fill up to six and the JD(S) two.

The group has former ministers Ramalinga Reddy, H M Revanna, R Roshan Baig and the likes of M T B Nagaraj and K Shivamurthy Naik. “We will meet on Monday to discuss the disappointments,” one of them told DH.

This is widely seen as a tussle between ‘migrants’ and ‘natives’ within the party, with Siddaramaiah being the migrant.

In this case, the ‘natives’ are irked that the party leadership has been “deliberately selective” in giving prominence to some seniors such as R V Deshpande, while “neglecting” others.

“Our grouse is against the party leadership collectively, which includes Siddaramaiah,” the leader said. 

Even as the Winter session of the legislature is underway in Belagavi, another camp in the Congress comprising North Karnataka leaders has decided to mount pressure on the party to seek positions in the Cabinet, including the deputy chief minister’s post.

This group is led by Yamkanmardi legislator Satish Jarkiholi, and includes former minister M B Patil, who has been vocal about “injustice to north Karnataka” in terms of the region’s representation in the Cabinet.

Siddaramaiah is slated to chair the CLP meeting in Belagavi on December 18, which is expected to be stormy as both senior and north Karnataka leaders are likely to lock horns with the party leadership.

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