BENGALURU: Even five days after eight new faces were inducted into the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, the portfolios still remain a mystery. The process of assigning portfolios, sources say, is being delayed, thanks to the tug-of-war between Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah.
While the former does not want to let go of his three ministries, the latter is adamant on giving Home Ministry to Lingayat strongman M B Patil. With Wednesday’s meeting ending inconclusively, AICC General Secretary and Karnataka in-charge
K C Venugopal had to take the recommendation list back to New Delhi. With two senior state leaders not in agreement with each other, it is now left to party boss Rahul Gandhi to chart the next course of action.
Sources in the party say that
M B Patil — one of the most senior leaders and newly inducted minister — is refusing to settle for anything less than the Home Ministry.
“The question is whether seniors like Parameshwara, D K Shivakumar should part with portfolios they are currently holding. New portfolios can be created for the new ministers. Portfolios from other ministers who hold multiple departments like K J George and Krishna Byregowda could be taken,” said a Congress source privy to the chaos that ensued in the meeting held at a luxury hotel on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Parameshwara is said to have refused to part with Home or Bengaluru development departments. He is open to reassigning Youth Empowerment and Sports Department.“It is unfair on part of ministers holding more than one department to refuse to part with it. No ministers would like to hold an insignificant ministry,” said a party source. “The announcement will be made soon. We only need
to inform Rahul Gandhi of the decision,” said K C Venugopal, AICC Karnataka in charge.
According to sources, the proposed allocations include municipal administration for C S Shivalli, housing for M T B Nagaraj, forest for Satish Jarkiholi, medical education for E Tukaram, skill development for R B Thimmapur and infrastructure development for Parameshwar Naik.
Nine Congress ministers currently hold more than one portfolio and seniors like Parameshwara and D K Shivakumar are supposedly unwilling to sacrifice either of their ministries and would like the party to take ministries from others or create new portfolios.“The CM has too many portfolios and those can be allocated too,” suggested another Congress source.