Bengaluru: The recent Cabinet expansion in the Karnataka coalition government had led to open dissidence and protests from several Congress MLAs including seven-time legislator Ramalinga Reddy. Now, the party has stepped in to pacify him, through his daughter.

Reddy, who had served as home minister in the previous government led by Siddaramaiah, was ignored in the December 22 Cabinet expansion.

His supporters had hit the streets of Bengaluru, demanding a ministerial berth for him. Also, his supporters from across the state had clearly indicated that they would teach the grand old party a lesson in this year’s Lok Sabha elections.

With the Lok Sabha polls likely in the next few months, the Congress, in a bid to avoid backlash from the Reddy community voters, has decided to offer Ramalinga Reddy’s daughter Soumya Reddy, a first-time MLA, the post of general secretary at the national level.

Sowmya, who represents Bengaluru’s Jayanagar constituency, was made the general secretary at All India Congress Committee (AICC), women's wing, on Friday.

Earlier, she had declined the post of parliamentary secretary as a ‘mark of respect’ for her father, who was not inducted into the Cabinet.

As a mark of respect to Ramalinga Reddy who is a seven-time MLA and was instrumental in the Congress gaining power in Bengaluru City Corporation, she is said to have declined the post of parliamentary secretary. 

The decision on postings was taken much earlier by the high command. It has nothing to do with recent developments in Karnataka, said Ramalinga Reddy.

Knowing that the situation is going against the Congress in Karnataka, the BJP ridiculed the Congress high command’s move over Sowmya’s appointment and said the party was gripped with fear ahead of the general elections.