BENGALURU: The dissent in the Congress party that had brought the political scenario in Karnataka to a boil is showing signs of dying down. Senior party leader and Gadag MLA H K Patil met AICC general secretary K C Venugopal on Thursday, hinting at a solution to the crisis. H K Patil is now slated to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi while Venugopal has warned party MLAs not to hold unauthorised meetings. H K Patil’s meeting with Venugopal comes after three rounds of pacifying by Ghulam Nabi Azad.
“We are confident of sorting out the small issues within the party. Our concerns have been voiced before the AICC and it will be conveyed to Rahul Gandhi,” H K Patil said after meeting Venugopal. P T Parameshwar Naik, former minister Tanveer Sait and C S Shivalli had met the AICC secretary earlier in the day. Unhappy over his exclusion from the cabinet, Sait fumed at U T Khader and Zameer Ahmed, who were picked from among Muslim MLAs, deeming them “unfit to be ministers”. While he gave a patient hearing to the concerns of the MLAs, Venugopal also stated that all aspirants will be given a chance.
“There will be a cabinet reshuffle in two years when ministries will be changed. Some people will be accommodated every six months if required after review of each minister,” Venugopal said after the meeting. The AICC general secretary did not take too kindly to unauthorised meetings of disgruntled MLAs and suggested that such meetings were against the AICC’s decision and liable for action. “He is sure to get a position either in the government or in the party. Issues ranging from Lingayat representation in the cabinet to who should be the next KPCC chief were discussed,” a source said.
The anger against the party leadership is still evident in the camps of dissenting MLAs but wait-and-watch seems to be the mantra they are willing to go by. “I should have been made minister the first time, but I am confident that I will be inducted during the cabinet expansion,” said C Shivalli, MLA from Kundgol. The party now intends to accommodate dissenting MLAs in boards and corporations before inducting the rest into the cabinet. H K Patil had sought three ministerial berths, appointments to three boards and corporations and two parliamentary secretary posts to MLAs from North Karnataka. “The high command will take a final call on our demand. Everything now depends on Rahul Gandhi,” a source in H K Patil camp said.