Portfolio Allocation Fuels Anger in Congress and JD(S) Camps, Siddaramaiah Asked to Firefight
Bengaluru (News 18): Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who is still struggling to douse the fire lit by “benched” senior MLAs of alliance partner Congress, is now faced with a new challenge. In fact, the allocation of portfolios has led to more trouble both in the Congress and JD(S) camps.
Many ministers unhappy with the portfolios allocated to them are openly expressing anger against the Gowda family and the Congress high command.
JD(S) MLA from Mandya CS Puttaraju is upset with Kumaraswamy for giving him the lighter portfolio of Minor Irrigation. Gowda’s close relative DC Thammanna from the same district has got the lucrative Transport portfolio. Puttaraju’s supporters are now asking him not to take charge.
The situation is grim in the Congress camp as well. As many as 15-20 MLAs, who have not been made ministers, have openly revolted against the party leadership, setting a deadline to sort out the issues.
The allocation of portfolios has led to more trouble in the party.
Two veterans, RV Deshpande and KJ George, have got plum portfolios. Revenue has been given to Deshpande and George has bagged Industries, Commerce, IT and BT.
Krishna Byregowda has got almost half a dozen ministries, including the coveted Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Parliamentary Affairs.
Mallikarjuna Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge has got the lucrative Social Welfare portfolio.
UT Khader, the only Congress candidate to win from the entire Udupi-Mangalore region, has got the sought-after Urban Development portfolio.
Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, who is in the eye of a storm for allegedly working against Congress colleagues MB Patil and Dinesh Gundurao, has got the powerful portfolios of Home and Bengaluru Development.
The allocation has added to fuel to fire and the “benched” seniors are demanding that he be stripped of the Bengaluru Development portfolio.
The party’s crisis manager, DK Shivakumar, has got the most lucrative Water Resources and Medical Education portfolios.
Independent MLA R Shankar has got Forest, Ecology and Environment ministries.
MB Patil’s rival in Bijapura district, Shivananda Patil, has been entrusted with the lighter portfolio of Labour.
JD(S) veteran GT Deve Gowda has been given the Education portfolio, but he is reportedly angry over missing out on Power and PWD.
Kumaraswamy loyalist and Kuruba leader Bandeppa Kashempur from Bidar was given the coveted Cooperation portfolio.
Making first-time MLC and film actress Jayamala a cabinet minister with Women, Child Development, Kannada and Culture has also angered four women MLAs from the Congress.
Congress stalwart and seven-time MP from Kolar KH Muniyappa is reportedly upset over his daughter Roopa Shashidhar losing out on a cabinet berth. She won from Kolar Gold Fields by over 41,000 votes in her maiden election to the state Assembly.
Muniyappa, however, refused to react, saying he is a senior leader of the party and would not express his opinion in public.
Former CM Siddaramaiah is also reportedly unhappy with the developments and reluctantly agreed to mediate with the seniors after a request from the high command.
If the JD(S)-Congress alliance fails to make peace with the rebels at the earliest, the wounded BJP may return to the playing field.