Mysuru: While Congress, the main partner in the coalition government in Karnataka, is heading towards a virtual split as at least a dozen senior leaders failed to make it to the State Cabinet, the other coalition partner JD(S) is facing the wrath of supporters of Ministers – G.T. Devegowda (GTD) and C.S. Puttaraju (CSP) — who have not got plum portfolios. Supporters of GTD and CSP have raised the banner of revolt against Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and have urged him to make amendments in the allocation of portfolios.
The Congress is fighting a bigger battle in Bengaluru as veteran MLAs like M.B. Patil, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Roshan Baig, Ramalinga Reddy, Satish Jarakiholi and Shamanur Shivashankarappa have been kept out of the Kumaraswamy Cabinet. The JD(S) is facing opposition in Mysuru and Mandya districts as fans of GTD and CSP are staging protests. While GTD has been allocated Higher Education portfolio, CSP has been assigned Minor Irrigation. Latest reports from Bengaluru say that M.B. Patil has demanded either Deputy CM’s post or the post of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President.
This morning, hundreds of supporters of GTD arrived at his house in Vijayanagar First Stage and staged protest. Similar was the scene at CSP’s house at Krishna Nagar Layout in Pandavapura. However, both CSP and GTD were not at their houses and they were not reachable over phone. While GTD has gone to an undisclosed location to avoid contact with his irate fans, CSP had left Pandavapura to Mugur Temple in T. Narasipur Taluk where he performed special pujas last night.
Sources close to GTD told Star of Mysore that yesterday as soon as he came to know that he has been allotted Higher Education portfolio, GTD left his official car (KA-52-GA-0009) in Bengaluru and took Shatabdi Express to reach Mysuru. He went straight to his Vijayanagar First Stage residence and from there he left to an undisclosed location as he realised that hundreds of supporters are coming to meet him.
On realising that GTD has left his official car in Bengaluru, CM Kumaraswamy asked GTD’s official driver to park the car in front of his (GTD’s) house in Vijayanagar First Stage in Mysuru. Accordingly, the car was brought by the driver to GTD’s house this morning.
According to GTD’s fans, during his campaigning at Chamundeshwari constituency, Kumaraswamy had assured the voters that if GTD was elected the MLA, he (Kumaraswamy) would place him (GTD) at the same level of Chief Minister. “Kumaraswamy has reneged on his promise and has given GTD a Hi-Fi portfolio (Higher Education) to a man who is always with the masses, especially people from villages,” a GTD supporter told SOM.
“If GTD will not be given a suitable portfolio considering decades of his public service, we will request him to resign as a Minister and let Kumaraswamy keep all portfolios,” another enraged GTD fan said. Chamundeshwari Gram Panchayat (GP) Member Mariswamy, who was in the news during the Chamundeshwari campaign trail for rebuffing his one-time friend Siddharamaiah (now former CM), said that Kumaraswamy has not kept his word and they will fight against ‘injustice’.
As protests continued, GTD’s wife Lalitha Devegowda and son G.D. Harish Gowda had a trough time in convincing the protesters. Speaking to the supporters and media, Harish Gowda said that they had not expected GTD to land in Higher Education portfolio. “Though we had not expected this, due to coalition compulsions, the CM has given such portfolio. My father is capable of handling Higher Education and he will continue his pro-people activities,” he said.
Harish Gowda then appealed to GTD supporters to withdraw their stir. However, the fans were not ready to do so and were demanding the presence of GTD at his house..