Change of guard: Prerogative of Congress top brass, say Karnataka ministers

PWD Minister Satish Jarkiholi, who also is an aspirant for the CM and DyCM posts, has said the issue is the prerogative of the Congress high command.
Image of Congress flag used for representational purpose only.
Image of Congress flag used for representational purpose only.

BELAGAVI: Even as the Congress is under pressure from different community leaders for a change of guard in Karnataka, several ministers in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet are unwilling to endorse the views of the seers and political leaders on the possible change of the CM and increasing the number of DyCMs.

PWD Minister Satish Jarkiholi, who also is an aspirant for the CM and DyCM posts, has said the issue is the prerogative of the Congress high command.

Reacting to the demands of the Vokkaliga and Lingayat seers that the Congress should elevate a minister from their respective communities to the post of CM in the state, Satish said the seers may have given such statements in the interest of their communities and that everybody had the right to voice their opinions.

However, it was not possible for the party to change the CM as per the demands of the seers, said Satish, adding that it was only the Congress top brass which always took the final call on all such important issues. He said the Congress state leadership is united.

Meanwhile, Women and Child Development Minister Laxmi Hebbalkar has said the issue of whether to change the CM or to appoint DyCMs was left to the Congress top brass. “All the 136 MLAs of the Congress in Karnataka will abide by the decision to be taken by the high command,” she added,

Laxmi said that the Congress gathered the opinions of all its 136 MLAs before making Siddaramaiah the CM. “So, the decision of the party high command is final,” she added. When asked whether DyCM DK Shivakumar deserved to be CM at this moment, she said Siddaramaiah was working effectively as the CM and leading the state so well ever since the Congress came to power. Siddaramaiah not only was giving a good administration but also working towards fulfilling all the promises which he made to the people of the state, Laxmi added.

She said Shivakumar also was an able leader who worked relentlessly during the Covid crisis and is delivering effectively as the DyCM. “Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar are like two eyes of the Congress in the state. The Congress government is doing what is expected to do in the state,’’ she added.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dinesh Gundurao called the statement of the seers on the change of CM as their personal views and said the issue of the change of leadership was an internal matter of the Congress which would be discussed in the party forum. He said there was no need for a public debate on such issues.

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