All eyes on BK Hariprasad’s show of strength
Hariprasad’s elevation as minister would mean he would take the role of leader of the House in the Council, where the Congress is short of numbers.
BENGALURU: With former AICC general secretary and MLC BK Hariprasad calling a meeting of his Billava-Ediga supporters at Palace Grounds on Saturday, the Congress could be looking at a battle between two influential backward leaders — Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Hariprasad.
About 150-200 buses are ferrying supporters from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi to Bengaluru. Sources said ‘higher ups’ in the government were closely watching developments in this show of strength by Hariprasad. Intelligence agencies, too, have been pressed into action to provide a blow-by-blow account of what is happening.
Hariprasad’s followers will be seeking accountability for appointments and postings given to classes backward by the present and previous governments. They will urge the Congress leadership to take note that backward classes who supported the Congress have not received their due in the bureaucracy or ministry, although they account for about 35% of the electorate.
“Only three backward figures in the ministry -- the CM, Byrathi Suresh and Madhu Bangarappa — compared to the representation of major communities,” Hariprasad’s supporters say.
Sources in the high command said one or two non-performers are expected to be dropped, and Hariprasad is likely to be accommodated sometime around Dasara or later, but well before the LS polls.
Siddaramaiah’s former media adviser Dinesh Amin Mattu admitted publicly that Hariprasad deserved to make the cut, and his inclusion would have helped the Congress consolidate its hold over the backward classes. Hariprasad’s elevation as minister would mean he would take the role of leader of the House in the Council, where the Congress is short of numbers.