Kar’NATAKA’: Rebellion splits Congress wide open
The banner of revolt in Karnataka is getting stronger with several leaders of the Congress failing to make it to the Cabinet. The likes of D K Shivakumar and R V Deshpande are meeting with M B Patil, who is virtually leading the revolt after being denied a Cabinet berth.
Joining the Patil bandwagon are Roshan Baig, Ramalinga Reddy, Dinesh Gundurao, Shamanur Shivashankarappa and Satish Jarkiholi who were left out of the Cabinet. These leaders have questioned the rationale behind the selection made while selecting leaders for the Cabinet.
M B Patil's followers have been the most vocal and have planned on calling for a Vijayapura bandh on Monday. The supporters of the MLA are also holding several meetings to decide on the next course of action. Giving him support is the Lingayat Mahasabha whose activists staged a protest against the Congress in Hubbali. The Mahasabha says that the Congress has not only denied Patil a berth, but also ignored Lingayats in the Cabinet expansion.
In the midst of the rebellion, Congress chief in Karnataka, Dr. G Parameshwar called for a meeting on Thursday night. However the outcome of the meeting was not positive and differences remained. The Congress leadership is trying to convince the rebels, but they appear to be in no mood to listen. The Congress had even suggested that those left out fo the ministry would be appointed as chairpersons of boards and the post would be elevated to that of Cabinet rank. This too did not appear to gain any traction, sources say.
Dinesh Gundu Rao who is a five time MLA too is upset. He was offered the post of KPCC president and he was willing to take up the post. However a suggestion from Parameshwar to make a Lingayat the KPCC chief has left Rao fuming.
The rebellion has led to a delay in deciding the allocation of portfolios. While the JD(S), the junior partner in the coalition with the CM's post will take a final call on the portfolios, the Congress is yet to decide. The JD(S) is expected to send its list to Raj Bhavan today following a meeting of the ministers.