BANGALORE: KPCC president G Parameshwara is not willing to accept anything less than the Deputy Chief Minister’s post, but Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is making efforts to win him over with an offer of two key portfolios.
Sources in the Congress said Siddaramaiah had sent K R Pete Krishna, former Assembly speaker and an old Janata Parivar man, to negotiate with Parameshwara and broker a truce.
Instrumental in getting Krishna into the Congress prior to the Lok Sabha elections, Siddaramaiah shares a good rapport with the former JD(S) leader, who has a reputation for honesty and simplicity.
The chief minister purportedly requested Krishna to convey his offer of two portfolios to Parameshwara.
“I have nothing personal against him. I am willing to give him two big responsibilities, but I cannot give him the Deputy Chief Minister’s post as it will create a parallel power centre,” he is said to have told Krishna.
Krishna then visited Parameshwara’s house with the message. Tipped to be inducted into the Cabinet after the ongoing session, Parameshwara is said to have told Krishna that he didn’t nurse any grudge against Siddaramaiah either.
“It is not my wish to become Deputy CM. It is the cry of the Dalits who feel it will give them adequate representation in the government,” Parameshwara is said to have told Krishna.
When Krishna spoke about the apprehensions of Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara purportedly said, “I am an original Congressman and I don’t create problems for the chief minister. I don’t rebel against my own party and CM.”
Meanwhile, a few Vokkaliga associations have launched a campaign seeking the Deputy CM’s post for Law Minister T B Jayachandra.
Sources say this is a ploy by Siddaramaiah to thwart Parameshwara’s ambitions.
The associations want the post for Jayachandra on the grounds that Vokkaligas, though dominant in number, have not been given enough representation in the government and the party.