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Resentment in Cong over denial of council chief’s post to north Karnataka

From Our Special Correspondent

Daijiworld Media Network

Belagavi, Dec 13: Though people in coastal Karnataka, especially in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts are happy at the election of senior Congress leader Pratap Chandra Shetty as the chairman of the State Legislative Council, a simmering discontent and resentment is brewing in Northern Karnataka over denial of the post to senior Lingayat leader from the Congress party S R Patil.

In fact, the ruling JD(S) too is in a bit of a spot over the party conceding the post to the coalition partner Congress and thereby turning down the claims of senior party leader Basavaraj Horatii, who also belongs to the Lingayat community from northern Karnataka.

So strong is the resentment within the Congress party that the issue could well reach the party high command soon.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had gone to Malaysia to attend a wedding in a friend’s family, rushed back home reportedly on the directions of the party high command to sort out the issue and quell the trouble before the issue goes beyond control.

Siddaramaiah, who is also the chairman of the Congress-JD(S) coalition coordination committee, is expected to iron out differences in the party as well as to ensure smooth functioning of the ongoing legislature session.

Sources said the party high command told Siddaramaiah to cut short his foreign tour and return to the border town to attend the session. Senior Congress leader and former water resources minister M B Patil on Thursday came out openly against the Congress leadership for sidelining the leaders from the north Karnataka region.

The party has not given adequate representation to the north Karnataka legislators in the Cabinet. The denial of Council chairman post only added insult to the people of the region, he alleged.

Speaking to reporters in Belagavi, Patil indirectly attacked Deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara for nominating Pratap Chandra Shetty for the council chairman’s post.

Sources in the party said the division of legislators into camps would not augur well for the party ahead of the 2019 elections.

Council member and former Pro-tem Chairman Basavaraj Horatti too lashed out at the Congress for not following the coalition dharma in the Congress-JD(S) government.

With the expansion of the HD Kumaraswamy cabinet is unlikely to take place in the near future, several legislators of the party have not been attending the ongoing session of the legislature and this had caused a some sort of embarrassment to the Congress in the state.

There is speculation in political circles that the cabinet expansion might be put off until after the Lok Sabha polls due by May 2019.

Sources in the party said the Congress leaders are expected to meet AICC president Rahul Gandhi soon to demand immediate cabinet expansion and appointment of workers for the government owned boards and corporations.

Nearly a dozen of Congress legislators aspiring to get cabinet berth.

There are only six vacancies in the Congress quota while two in the JD(S) quota.

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Title : Resentment in Cong over denial of council chief’s post to north Karnataka


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