BENGALURU: Infighting among the ranks of both Congress and JD(S) over ministerial berths remained a headache for leaderships of both the parties for the third consecutive day on Saturday since the Cabinet induction. Even as supporters of leaders left out of the Cabinet continued to protest on the streets, former CM BS Yeddyurappa tried to fish in troubled waters saying if dissident leaders of Congress and JD(S) were willing to join BJP, they should be welcomed.
Former minister and dissident MLA MB Patil returned empty-handed from Delhi after Congress president Rahul Gandhi turned down his demand for the deputy CM’s post. However, the Lingayat leader was reportedly assured of a ministerial berth in the next round of cabinet expansion, when six berths under the Congress quota are expected to be filled. Sources said the high command’s decision is a message to other ministerial aspirants not to precipitate the issue and it’ll decide who will get what at an appropriate time.Patil was summoned to Delhi after his rebellion appeared to be gathering steam with around 15-20 MLAs rallying behind him. At Rahul’s Tughlak Road residence, he explained the discontent among Congress MLAs and caste and regional misrepresentation in the Cabinet. Supporters of Congress legislators HK Patil, Ivan D’Souza and Pratapgouda Patil protested at Gadag, PCC office in Bengaluru and Maski town, respectively, against the exclusion of their leaders in the Cabinet. The scene was no different in JD(S). Supporters of ministers GT Deve Gowda and CS Puttaraju held protests in Mysuru and Mandya demanding that their leaders be “honoured with good ministries”. While Gowda got the higher education portfolio, Puttaraju has been given minor irrigation. Both had set their eyes on transport, which went to DC Thammanna, a relative of JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda.GT Deve Gowda reportedly told his supporters that he’s just a Class 7 pass and he’ll be uncomfortable handling the higher education ministry. But Kumaraswamy snubbed both the ministers. “Any portfolio is significant if one is efficient. Shall I part with the finance portfolio? Ministries don’t matter to those who want to perform. MLAs first want to become ministers.