Karnataka cabinet expansion: Congress leader lashes out at party over delay; coalition govt in trouble

First Published 7, Dec 2018, 4:23 PM IST
Karnataka cabinet expansion: Congress leader lashes out at party over delay; coalition govt in trouble
Highlights

Differences are out in the open in the Karnataka Congress as Siddaramaiah's trusted MLA, Ramalinga Reddy turned rebel after the party adopted 'delaying tactics' while expanding the cabinet. Reddy expressed his anger over the party high command and senior leaders

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Congress is facing trouble from within. Many MLAs aspiring to become ministers have time and again indicated to the party of switching sides.

Now, former chief minister Siddaramaiah's close aide and former Bengaluru in-charge minister R Ramalinga Reddy has expressed his displeasure over the party's delayed strategy in cabinet expansion.

Sources said that Reddy, a seven-time MLA and one who controls Bengaluru administration, was also aspiring but never lobbied for a cabinet berth in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

"The four-time minister and seven-term MLA was expecting the party leaders to offer him the minister’s post as he deserves," a source said.

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah had earlier announced that there will be a cabinet expansion on December 22 after the Belagavi Assembly session.

However,  Reddy said that this won’t happen as the JD(S) will not agree.

"The party should come out with a clear date as the JD(S) will not agree for the cabinet expansion during Dhanurmasa (which is inauspicious) from December 15 to January 14. If the party wants to postpone the expansion plans till the next year’s Lok Sabha elections, they should say it. At least those who are trying will be silent and wait," said the former home minister.

Reddy further added that he never approached central or state leaders to ask for a minister’s post and said he also did not lobby for others.

"If they give me any such post I will be happy and if they don't, my happiness will be doubled," he stated.

Hitting out at the party’s leadership for sidelining seniors like him and Roshan Baig and others citing age as the reason, Reddy question the logic and said, "Why did you accommodate senior leaders like RV Deshpande, KJ George, Dr G Parameshwar into the cabinet if you wanted a young team," Reddy questioned.

Commenting on the differences between the coalition partners, BJP opined that the Congress and JD(S) had come together only for selfish motives and hence the differences.

"There is no coordination in the coalition. They want only power. When the JD(S) and BJP formed the government in 2006 on 20-20 month formula, for the first 19 months, none from the BJP created any issues and tolerated the JD(S). But, in the current coalition, from the beginning, the Congress is creating trouble as the JD(S) is only concerned about Mandya, Hassan and Ramanagar districts and  it has sidelined the Congress MLAs," Karnataka BJP spokesperson Vaman Acharya said.

None of the JD(S) leaders were willing to comment on the current situation in the coalition government.

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