Siddaramaiah back at political centre stage, will head coordination committee

Many feel that as head of panel, he may emerge as parallel power centre within party, government.

Published: 02nd June 2018 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2018 05:00 AM   |  A+A-

Former CM Siddaramaiah, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara at the JD(S)-Congress joint meeting held in Bengaluru on Friday | Vinod Kumar T

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: After his party’s poor performance in the assembly polls that forced the Congress to join hands with the JD(S), Siddaramaiah is back at the centre-stage of state politics. This time around, as the head of the coordination committee that would consist of Congress and JD(S) leaders including the Chief Minister as its members.

The five-member committee will consist of CM H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal and JD (S) Secretary General Danish Ali as its convenor. All major decisions to be taken by the government will be discussed in the committee, which will ensure smooth functioning of the coalition government. “Siddaramaiah will advice the government,” Kumaraswamy said.

Many in the Congress feel that as the head of the committee Siddaramaiah is likely to emerge as a parallel power centre within the party and the government. Though Parameshwara is the Deputy Chief Minister, as head of the coordination committee, Siddaramaiah too will have a say in all major decisions to be taken by the government. Even appointments to boards and corporations have to be done in consultation with the committee.

Venugopal, who announced the composition of the committee, however, rejected the view that the committee will be a parallel power centre. “It would not be a parallel power centre. It would a positive committee to ensure smooth functioning of the coalition,” the Congress leader said on Friday. “It is not a negative committee,” Venugopal said suggesting that it would not lead to any friction.

According to sources in Congress, the JD(S) leadership had initially opposed the Congress’s proposal to make Siddaramaiah as head of the coordination committee. The regional party had suggested that a Congress central leader like Ghulam Nabi Azad or Venugopal be appointed as its head. However, the Congress succeeded in convincing its coalition partner.

Former CM Siddaramaiah thanked the high command for making him the head of the committee. “We will come out with Common Minimum Programme based on the Congress and JD (S) election manifestos,” he said.

Congress ministers in the coalition government and even the party MLAs will look upto Siddaramaiah to resolve their issues.  However, given the good equations JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda enjoys with Congress top leaders, the committee head may not be in a position to veto any decisions that the government wants to take. The former CM may even find it difficult to push his ideas with the JD (S) leadership.

HDK directs officials not to bring mobile phones to meetings
Bengaluru: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has directed officials not to bring their mobile phones while attending meetings called by him. “I have noticed that officials were using mobile phones during the meetings. That diverts attention from subjects being discussed during the meetings,” the CM stated in a directive issued to the officials. “Officials attending the meetings have been directed not to come with their phones. In case, any officer bring their phone with them, it has to be deposited with the meeting coordinator and collected after the meeting,” the CM stated. The CM said officers will understand the reason for issuing such a direction as it as been done with an intention to ensure that issues are discussed seriously during meetings without any diversions.

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