BENGALURU: Armed with a list of ministerial aspirants, Congress leaders from Karnataka marched to Delhi on Saturday in the hope of getting the party high command’s approval. While some names have been cleared, the party central leadership is still in the process of considering others. For now, brakes have been applied on clearing the list but hectic lobbying is still underway in the Congress camp. Sources from the Congress told TNIE that the contention is now over six ministerial aspirants while the rest of the list is pretty much set.
Incidentally, the fight for the six berths is between senior leaders, many of whom were part of Siddaramaiah’s cabinet. The likes of Shivanand Patil, Priyank Kharge, U T Khader, K H Muniyappa’s daughter and first-time MLA Roopakala Shashidhar, independent MLA R Shankar have been cleared to get ministerial berths, a decision is yet to be made on senior leaders like Ramalinga Reddy, K J George, M B Patil and S R Patil. While Siddaramaiah, sources said, doesn’t want to be a minister, D K Shivakumar has asked to be made a minister as well as the KPCC president putting the high command in a fix.
TNIE has accessed the list of probable ministers from the Congress camp. The names have been chosen on the basis of caste, community as well as district representation composition.
Congress balancing caste and compulsion in minister selection
Apart from seniority, the Congress is also compelled to give in to legislators who were promised ministerial berths in an attempt to stop them from joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before B S Yeddyurappa resigned as Chief Minister. MLAs Shivanand Patil from Basavana Bagevadi in Vijayapura, Rajashekhar Patil from Humanabad in Bidar and B K Sangameshwar from Bhadravati in Shivamogga- all three Lingayats- were promised ministerial berths to remain in the party.
Congress leader Eshwar Khandre may be asked to make way for Rajashekhara Patil. In K H Muniyappa’s daughter Roopakala Shashidhar, the party will get a SC-Left plus a woman candidate. In case the party needs to accommodate another woman candidate, Belgaum rural MLA Lakshmi Hebbalkar- a Lingayat- might make the cut.
P T Parameshwar Naik from Hadagali is Congress’ choice to represent the Lambani community while Priyank Kharge is the choice from Kalaburagi district plus a SC- Right candidate. Considering that the party has won only three seats in the three coastal districts, R V Deshpande will make the cut under the Brahmin quota while U T Khader will be accommodated under minority representation.
Dinesh Gundu Rao is currently being considered to be made part of the cabinet given that the JD(S) has no Brahmin MLA to include in the cabinet. R Shankar, an independent candidate, and C S Shivalli are currently the party’s Kuruba community choices. Satish Jarkiholi, an ST candidate, who played an instrumental role in Siddaramaiah’s photo finish win in Badami and D K Shivakumar, a Vokkaliga and the Congress’ “crisis man”, have also been shortlisted but Shivakumar is keen on a ministry along with the PCC president’s post.
Siddu Nyamagouda from Jamkhandi of Bagalkot was also an aspirant but passed away in an accident on Monday morning.While fresh faces are being accommodated, with just 22 berths in hand, the Congress is having a tough time in deciding on its senior members. The party is yet to take a decision on former ministers like M B Patil, K J George and Ramalinga Reddy and Krishna Byregowda-both Vokkaligas.
While Siddaramaiah, sources said, has refused to be a minister, the party is contemplating on whether independent H Nagesh should be made a minister.
Nagesh was assured of a ministry to stop him from jumping to the BJP’s support. While senior leaders are expected to make the cut in the final list, for now brakes have been applied on the process. Anticipating trouble after the announcement of ministers, the Congress is treading a cautious path, especially with regard to senior leaders.
To be ministers
P T Parameshwar Naik, MLA, Hadagali
Shivanand Patil, MLA, Basavana Bagevadi
Rajashekhar Patil, MLA, Humanabad
B K Sangameshwar, MLA Bhadravati
R Shankar, independent MLA, Ranibennur
Roopakala M, MLA, KGF
Priyank Kharge, MLA, Chittapur
U T Khader, MLA, Mangaluru
Satish Jarkiholi, MLA, Yemkanmardi
D K Shivakumar, MLA, Kanakpura
C S Shivalli, MLA Kundgol
Dinesh Gundu Rao, MLA, Gandhinagar
R V Deshpande, MLA, Haliyal
K J George, MLA, Sarvagnanagar
H Nagesh, Independent candidate, Mulbagal
Ramalinga Reddy, MLA, BTM lLyout
M B Patil, MLA, Babaleshwar
Dr K Sudhakar, MLA, Chikkaballapur
Roshan Baig, MLA, shivajinagar
T Raghumurthy, MLA, Challakere
Krishna Byregowda, MLA, Byatarayanapura