Bengaluru: Ahead of the much-awaited cabinet expansion on December 22, the Karnataka Congress is facing a big challenge as its own party leaders are upset with former chief minister Siddaramaiah’s style of functioning.

Several senior Congress leaders expressed their displeasure over Siddaramaiah ignoring them for ministerial berths in the coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy.

Also read: North Karnataka farmers call Kumaraswamy anti-farmer

Former minister R Roshan Baig said he was “hurt” and hence he decided to stay away from the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting called by Siddaramaiah on Tuesday.

"I am hurt, even seniors like Ramalinga Reddy and MB Patil are also upset. We have done enough for the party, but we are being ignored. This is the reason we did not attend the CLP meeting called by Siddaramaiah," Baig told MyNation on Wednesday.

According to sources, Baig, Reddy, Patil and others have already sent out the message to the party high command about Siddaramaiah's attitude.

"We cannot dance to the tunes of Siddaramaiah. The party high command should intervene," said a senior leader, on condition of anonymity.

Echoing similar sentiments, Reddy said that he was never hankering after power since the formation of the Congress-JD(S) government in May.

"I am in Bengaluru. I did not attend the CLP meeting as I did not feel like attending," said Reddy.

Also read: Karnataka govt under fire for ignoring serious issues, making a farce of Assembly session in Belagavi

The opposition BJP, which has been hinting at the discontent in the coalition and also in the Congress leading to the eventual collapse of the government in some time lashed out at the “selfish motives” Congress legislators.

"Earlier, it was DK Shivakumar and Dr G Parameshwara who were targeted by few legislators, especially from Belagavi region. Now, Siddaramaiah has joined that list of getting targeted. This is an indication that the Congress is a divided house and their attitude will impact the government programmes," said S Prakash, spokesperson, Karnataka BJP.

However, the Congress denied having any cascading effect on the coalition and called the BJP an opportunist waiting to dislodge the government by using “small differences”.

"There can only be 33 ministers out of 117-plus members in the ruling coalition. The logic is that few will be happy and few will be not be as they will not be included. Some leaders use pressure tactics to get a spot in the cabinet. Beyond this, nothing will happen and the government will be safe," Karnataka Congress’s spokesperson Kengal Renu said.