Karnataka's JD(S) leader Revanna has said that a Dalit minister like Parameshwara shouldn't have been stripped of the home ministry. The Congress is upset with Revanna. However, MB Patil, a Lingayat, representing north Karnataka, is now bestowed with the plum portfolio of home ministry. Is this setting the stage for Lok Sabha elections to take on Lingayat strongman and the BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa?
Bengaluru: A day after reports of Congress leader G Parameshwara reluctantly giving up his home ministry for MB Patil surfaced, JD(S) leader HD Revanna triggered the 'Dalit controversy’ in the allocation of portfolios in Karnataka.
Revanna, in a press conference, criticised the Congress for depriving a Dalit minister like Parameshwara the plum portfolio of home.
"I do not want to comment. Things will settle down in the Congress," a miffed Parameshwara said, after losing the home ministry.
Why was Patil given the home ministry, who otherwise expressed his interest in handling the water resources?
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah, along with Patil, played the Lingayat card during the Assembly elections in May. They tried to fight for a separate Lingayat religion in an attempt to fight the Lingayat strongman and senior BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa. While it backfired for the Congress then, Siddaramaiah-Patil duo is back to play the Lingayat game again.
"Patil is a Lingayat. He is currently the only strong face to represent the community in the Congress. For Patil to grow stronger to tap into the Lingayat vote base keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections, Siddaramaiah decided to give him the home ministry," said a source from the JD(S).
The Congress's strategy is to ensure north Karnataka leaders like Satish Jarkiholi and Patil are given due representation in the Cabinet, said Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundurao.
"Revanna shouldn't be speaking about his ally. It is absolutely unnecessary. No Congress leader has said anything. Parameshwara has been given additional portfolios," he said.
Parameshwara is the Bengaluru in-charge minister. He also handles law and parliamentary affairs. "It seems like a win-win situation for all - Siddaramaiah, Patil and Parameshwara," the JD(S) source added.
Revanna's sudden outburst seems like JD(S)'s way of building pressure on the Congress, considering the fact that several party leaders are unhappy with Congress taking decisions arbitrarily, said political analyst SA Hemanth Kumar.
With the Lok Sabha elections nearing, the JD(S) has announced to contest alone, while holding a 'friendly fight' against the Congress.
Friendly or not, it is a fight indeed.
Last Updated 5:01 PM IST