Cabinet expansion: Congmen for delay

Bengaluru: Speculation is rife that the wait could get longer for ministerial aspirants as a section of senior leaders in Congress is pushing for postponement of cabinet expansion till announcement of results of polls in Jayanagar and R R Nagar Assembly constituencies. 

Sources in Congress said senior leaders – former chief minister Siddarmaiah, deputy chief minister, Dr G. Parameshwara, KPCC campaign committee chairman, D. K. Shivakumar, Congress party leader in Lok Sabha, M. Mallikarjuna Kharge along with AICC general secretary, K. C. Venugopal – are scheduled to meet Congress president, Rahul Gandhi on Sunday morning, to take the final call on expansion of the cabinet. 

Amid uncertainty, several MLAs along with their supporters including KPCC working president, Dinesh Gundu Rao, have landed in New Delhi to lobby for berths in the new ministry. 

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader quipped: "Barring Congress president, Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, only five Congress leaders and three JD (S) leaders from the state are in the know of developments related to induction of new ministers. None is speaking a word about the exercise. Therefore, it is strongly speculated in 

New Delhi that the cabinet expansion might carried out only after announcement of results of two Assembly seats."

The leader added that it looks like that the party was still in discussion with JD(S) over distribution of portfolios among both parties. "The JD(S) is demanding more number of plum portfolios which seem to be the first major roadblock for this exercise. Apart from this, the party is also discussing whether to allocate cabinet portfolio, if a minister has already completed a five year term in previous government. Thus, this will only help the party in escalating the competition, as among 78 MLAs, there is sizeable chunk of MLAs who have won three times in a row. That is why, the party is also ready to take the risk of allotting more number of berths to some of these fresh faces. Hence, this time around many junior leaders were seen lobbying in New Delhi," the leader added.  


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