Bengaluru: Exercise of cabinet expansion has ignited dissent in the Karnataka Congress which romped to back power after May 10 Assembly polls, according to sources.
Though, no one has dared to come out and issue a statement in this regard, Congress insiders confirmed that there is simmering discontent among senior party leaders who missed cabinet berths.
Senior leader Sonia Gandhi family loyalist B.K. Hariprasad is contemplating to put forth his resignation to the post of MLC and Opposition leader in the council as the party denied cabinet berth to him. Sources close to him maintained that he was shocked to learn about the development.
Veteran Congress leader R.V. Deshpande who refused to accept the post of Assembly Speaker has apparently been dumped by the party.
Hectic lobbying in New Delhi did not help the senior leader, the source said, adding that the state unit has alleged that Deshpande, a resourceful politician, did not help the party in difficult times.
Shivalinge Gowda, who joined Congress after raising a banner of revolt against former PM H.D. The Deve Gowda family from JD(S) is unhappy owing to the same reason. “I am saddened. I won’t speak anything now,” he stated after meeting Siddaramaiah at his residence.
Senior politicians T.B. Jayachandra from Vokkaliga community, and Vinay Kulkarni, who won from Dharwad Rural without entering the constituency are also unhappy. Vinay Kulkarni is an accused in the murder case of a BJP worker and he is the blue eyed boy of CM Siddaramaiah.
Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Savadi who jumped ship from BJP have also not given cabinet berths. While Savadi has been promised an allotment of cabinet posts at later stages, Jagadish Shettar has been promised an MLC seat and then his induction to the cabinet.
Senior leader Rudrappa Lamani has also not been included in the cabinet. “Our banjara community leader Rudrappa Lamani’s name was there on the list till last night, but today we saw that his name was not there on the list. If our leader will not get the Ministerial post, we will protest against this because we gave our 75 per cent vote to Congress in the election, so there should be at least one leader from our community,” maintained his supporters.
Asked about this development, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in-turn asked the media on Saturday that any one of the leaders spoke to them personally that they are unhappy with the cabinet expansion? No such development is taking place, he added.