Basavaraj Horatti may join Cabinet to make way for SR Patil as LC chief

BENGALURU: Coalition partners are avidly discussing the prospect of senior JD (S) leader Basavaraj Horatti making it to the cabinet in the wake of former chief minister Siddaramaiah's decision to back veteran Congressman S.R. Patil for the post of Chairman of the Legislative Council rather than make way for the senior most member of upper House and his colleague in erstwhile Janata Parivar.

Sources in Congress told Deccan Chronicle that Mr Siddaramaiah has rejected the plea of JD (S) to support Mr Horatti's candidature for Chairman's post. The proposal was taken to Mr Siddaramaiah by JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali after both coalition partners resorted to a cold war over occupying the top position. 

The former chief minister reportedly backed Mr Patil and reward him with the post for ensuring his victory in Badami constituency. This message reached JD(S) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy who subsequently decided to accommodate Mr Hortti in the cabinet and hand over an important portfolio to him.

Sources said it was a tactical move by Mr Siddaramaiah to kill two birds with one stone. First, to placate Mr Patil by ensuring his election as Chairman of the Legislative Council. Second, to ensure Mr Horatti's entry into the cabinet so that he would become ruling party leader in upper House thus replacing Mrs Jayamala against whom senior Congress MLCs' were nursing anger. In fact, Mr Horatti too would be happy with this formula as his wish of becoming a minister would also be fulfilled along with becoming ruling party leader. The Congress MLCs would not oppose Mr Horatti's elevation as ruling party leader as they do not want to work under Mrs Jayamala who according to them was a novice in politics. 

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