Bengaluru: With the Congress mired in a battle between old and migrant party leaders, the much anticipated State Cabinet expansion has been put on hold by the Congress Central leadership.
Even as speculations began gaining ground that independent legislators and migrant party leaders were set to be included in the expansion of the Coalition Government, senior Congress leaders, upset over the development began to attack the party leadership questioning the move and their leadership capabilities.
Senior party legislators Roshan Baig and Ramalinga Reddy, who are also former Ministers, had lashed out at CLP leader Siddharamaiah for ignoring them.
Veteran Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, K.H. Muniyappa, Veerappa Moily and others who lost in the LS polls are said to be utilising the proposed Cabinet expansion as part of their design to gain control over the party affairs in the State.
The senior Congress leaders maintain that CLP leader and former CM Siddharamaiah, who is a migrant Congress leader and KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao were entirely responsible for the party’s dismal performance in the LS polls.
In another development, another senior Congress leader H.K. Patil too is upset over the ruling Coalition Government. He has called for the intervention of AICC President Rahul Gandhi for resolving the crisis brewing in the State Congress with senior party leaders openly revolting against Siddharamaiah’s leadership and his inability to take along all leaders into confidence.
Amidst all these developments, Siddharamaiah who spoke to press persons after attending Ramzan prayers at Chamarajpet Eidgah Maidan in the State capital on Wednesday, ruled out any Cabinet reshuffle for now.
Maintaining that discussions were going on only to fill up one vacancy, which was due to the death of Congress Minister C.S. Shivalli, the CLP leader reiterated that there will be no Cabinet expansion or reshuffle for now.
Referring to Ramalinga Reddy’s out burst, Siddharamaiah said that Reddy can become a Minister when the Cabinet reshuffle exercise will take place.
Siddharamaiah also rubbished the claims of senior JD(S) leader A.H. Vishwanath, who recently quit his post as JD(S) State President that he (Siddu) was responsible for former PM Deve Gowda’s defeat in Tumakuru. He also claimed that there was no such thing as old or migrant leaders in the Congress and everyone are treated on par.
Meanwhile, NR MLA Tanveer Sait speaking to media persons in Mysuru after Eid prayers on Wednesday, said that there was truth in Ramalinga Reddy and Roshan Baig’s outbursts against the State Congress leadership.
Maintaining that the two were senior leaders who do not speak lightly, Sait claimed that honest leaders were finding it difficult to get space in Congress.
Replying to a query on his Cabinet aspirations, Sait said that he was a politician and not a ‘Sanyasi’ to let go an opportunity for power.
Regretting the lack of coalition dharma among both the Congress and JD(S), Sait said it was high time for the leaders of the two parties to correct the mistakes and get along.
Sait refused to comment on the resignation of A.H. Vishwanath as the State JD(S) Chief, saying that it was not a matter of the Congress party.