Ballari MP-elect eyeing berth in Siddaramaiah cabinet?

In the just concluded LS polls, Tukaram trounced BJP’s B Sriramulu in Ballari by a huge margin.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts with newly-elected party MPs and defeated candidates at the KPCC office in Bengaluru on Friday. CM Siddaramaiah, Dy CM 
DK Shivakumar, and Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala look on
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacts with newly-elected party MPs and defeated candidates at the KPCC office in Bengaluru on Friday. CM Siddaramaiah, Dy CM DK Shivakumar, and Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala look on

BALLARI: MP-elect E Tukaram is unlikely to resign as Sandur MLA and go to the Lok Sabha, according to sources. This move is in view of B Nagendra quitting the Siddaramaiah cabinet over the alleged misappropriation of funds in the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation Ltd., the sources said.

After Tukaram’s followers and supporters got an inkling of Nagendra’s resignation a few days ago, they held a meeting and batted for their leader’s induction into the cabinet, they said. In the just concluded LS polls, Tukaram trounced BJP’s B Sriramulu in Ballari by a huge margin. Tukaram is now hoping for a ministerial berth, representing Ballari district, in the cabinet.

If the Congress high command meets his demand for the cabinet berth, he is likely to seek Ballari Member of Parliament ticket for his daughter Souparnika to contest the byelection, the sources said.

Tukaram was against contesting the LS polls. But Nagendra persuaded him to contest, promising that he would ensure his victory against Sriramulu. 

Tukaram is a four-time MLA and was minister in the Congress-JDS coalition government (2018-19). 

However, Tukaram told TNIE that he has no such plans for now. “I want to continue as  MP. I don’t want to comment on rumours,” he said.

A senior Congress leader said, “Tukaram is a senior MLA and former minister. During his tenure as minister and MLA, he contributed a lot for the development of Ballari district, especially Sandur. We have asked him to continue in state politics. If Tukaram resigns as MP, we will elect a Congress candidate from Ballari.”

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