Revolt by ‘Benched’ Congress Seniors Rocks Kumaraswamy Govt in Karnataka

Revolt by ‘Benched’ Congress Seniors Rocks Kumaraswamy Govt in Karnataka

Bengaluru: The Congress, the main partner in the coalition government in Karnataka, is heading towards a virtual split in the state. At least a dozen senior leaders who failed to make it to the state cabinet have raised the banner of revolt and claim that these are not empty threats.
A late night meeting at the house of deputy chief minister and KPCC president G Parameshwara seems to have failed to quell the rebellion and the number of disgruntled MLAs is increasing by the hour, threatening the stability of the JD(S)-Congress government, which came to power two weeks ago at a huge public function.
Veteran MLAs MB Patil, Roshan Baig, Ramalinga Reddy, M Krishnappa, Dinesh Gundurao, Ishwar Khandre, Shamanur Shivashankarappa and Satish Jharkiholi are upset with the manner in which the ministers were chosen by the high command and are holding several rounds of talks to chalk out their future strategy.
Though some dismiss fears of the government collapsing soon, the others don’t appear too enthusiastic to save the coalition in the interest of the party.
In a shocking development, party stalwarts like Patil, Gundurao, Baig, Reddy, Jharkiholi and Shivashankarappa were kept out of the HD Kumaraswamy cabinet on Wednesday, sending shockwaves across the party circles.
Feeling humiliated, they are openly questioning the rationale behind benching the seniors.
Interestingly, the leaders who were at the forefront of separate Lingayat religion — MB Patil and Ishwar Khandre — have not been made ministers apparently to pacify the Lingayats.
Shivashankarappa, the 89-year-old veteran leader who wanted the separate religion to be known as Veerashaiva-Lingayats, has also been denied entry into the Cabinet.
Patil, who was water resources minister in the previous Siddaramaiah government, has attacked the party for not making him a minister. Speaking to News18, he said that he would not accept the ministership even if it is offered to him now as he is not a “second-class citizen”.
Even the party emissaries sent to his house in Bengaluru were mobbed by his angry supporters.
Dinesh Gundurao, the working president of the KPCC, who has won five straight elections from Gandhinagara in Bengaluru, is also reportedly upset over the high command not taking a quick decision on making him the KPCC president.