Wary JD(S) decides to keep two berths vacant

Wary JD(S) decides to keep two berths vacant

CM HDKumaraswamy

While its coalition partner has finally filled all vacant ministerial positions under its quota, the JD(S), however, has decided to play a waiting game.

The regional party is yet to fill two vacant positions out of its quota of 12 ministers in the 34 member Cabinet. At the time of cabinet expansion, the party had only kept one position vacant. However, after BSP MLA N Mahesh quit as the primary and secondary education minister on October 11, another slot opened up for the JD(S).

Names of Sakleshpur MLA H K Kumaraswamy and MLC B M Farooq have been doing the rounds, as likely probables. The party, however, is playing its cards close to its chest, not revealing its next move.

While party leaders indicated that the new ministers would be inducted only after Sankranti, as the party leadership does not want to take up the exercise during the inauspicious ‘Dhanur Masa/Shoonya Masa’; sources revealed that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has no plans of expanding his Cabinet further at this juncture.

With the threat of dissidence looming large in the Congress camp and the BJP keeping a hawk’s eye to poach the disgruntled MLAs, Kumaraswamy has decided to keep both positions vacant until the Lok Sabha elections.

In the event of an Operation Kamala by the BJP, Kumaraswamy will then be in a position accommodate MLAs who might threaten to cross over to the saffron party.

Sources said that party might also drop Horticulture Minister M C Managuli (Sindagi) to accommodate one more dissenting MLA, if the situation spirals out of control, posing a threat to the government.