Karnataka: Congress unhappy over CM holding up some appointments to boards, corporations
Bengaluru, Jan 7: Unhappy over Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy holding up a few appointments to boards and corporations, the leadership of the Congress, a partner in the ruling coalition, has decided to take up the issue with him.
According to party sources, several Congress leaders and legislators are miffed with the chief minister over his decision to put on hold some appointments and have expressed their anger to the state leadership.
"I will speak to Kumaraswamy; I don't know why he has put it on hold," Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah told reporters. Out of Congress' recommendation to 19 boards and corporations, the chief minister, after much delay, issued orders on Sunday for the appointment of 14, and eight legislators as parliamentary secretaries against the party's list of nine.
Kumaraswamy has also not made any appointments to the posts of deputy chairman of the planning commission, special representative in Delhi and political secretary to the chief minister, to which the Congress had suggested names of its legislators. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said the chief minister has not rejected any names recommended by the Congress, and he will speak to him on the issue.
"He (the chief minister) has not rejected (the names recommended). I have come to know that for various reasons such as verification, to discuss with department ministers concerned before taking decision (he has put on hold). I haven't spoken to him yet. I will speak to him and request him to issue orders based on Congress' recommendation," he told reporters.
Stating that there was no confusion, Parameshwara said that while making political appointments, usually some verification is done by the Chief Ministers' Office.
"He (the chief minister) has not questioned or rejected the list we have recommended... he has never said that," the deputy chief minister said.
According to the coalition arrangement, both parties had decided to fill up posts of chairpersons to 30 boards and corporations, of which 20 will be for the Congress and 10 for the ruling JD(S). The JD(S) is yet to appoint its legislators as heads to boards and corporations and remaining post of parliamentary secretaries.
Chairpersons for a few boards and corporations have not been filled as recommended by the Congress, including Dr K Sudhakar for the State Pollution Control Board Venkataramanaiah for the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL) and S T Somashekar for the Bangalore Development Authority.
Expressing his displeasure, Sudhakar said it is for the party high command to look into the issue, as the recommendations were finalised at the level of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
"It is not a question of personal loss or gain to Sudhakar or Somashekar or Venkataramanaiah. It is the question of Congress' pride. Despite getting 80 seats (in assembly) today for what good reason have we ceded power to them JD(S), the party has to look into and decide," he said.
"We cannot kneel down helpless," Sudhakar said, adding the Congress high command will take an appropriate decision. JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy had earlier clarified that Sudhakar's appointment was opposed as the Supreme Court guidelines had specified a certain qualification for the post.
Congress MLA Venkataramanaiah's appointment to the KRDCL is said to have been opposed by Gowda's son and PWD Minister Revanna, saying it came under his department.
The Congress had forwarded its list of 19 legislators for posts of chairpersons of boards and corporations to the chief minister soon after the cabinet rejig on December 22, but according to sources, the move had irked the JD(S) leadership as they were reportedly not consulted.
The Congress recommending some of its legislators as heads to boards and corporations that come under departments controlled by JD(S) ministers, had angered the regional party, leading to Chief Minister Kumaraswamy delaying the appointments. JD(S) leaders and Kumaraswamy were also irked by the grand old party's move to appoint its MLA V Muniyappa as political secretary to the chief minister.
The appointment order was issued on Sunday, amid reports that Congress MLAs had set a deadline of Monday evening, miffed over the delay in appointments to boards and corporations, failing which they had planned to meet on Tuesday to decide on the future course of action.