Bengaluru: The race for the post of Deputy Chief Minister, which is the route that political parties take to reward acolytes or placate powerful lobbies just got dirtier!
The post of Deputy CM has become a bone of contention between rival groups in the Congress with sources confiding that former CM Siddaramaiah is propping up his close confidant M.B. Patil for the prestigious post to block the chances of KPCC president Dr G. Parameshwar, the Dalit candidate who has long angled for the post.
At the heart of the battle is that there is no agreement as yet between the two coalition partners, Congress and JD(S) on whether the new government should have one Deputy CM or two. These issues are likely to come up at meetings planned in Bengaluru on Tuesday between JD(S) and Congress leaders.
If the JD(S) has its way and the Congress has to be content with one Dy CM, the automatic choice would be Dr Parameshwar – something Siddaramaiah would like to prevent at any cost, said sources.
Amid this, a section of Lingayat legislators are backing the candidature of KPCC working president S.R. Patil for Dy CM. At least two to three Lingayat MLAs have openly threatened to resign from their MLA seats if Mr M.B. Patil is even considered for a minister's post.
In fact, tempers ran high on this issue at an informal meeting of party legislators at a plush hotel in the city where they have been confined to keep them away from poaching attempts by the BJP.
A senior Lingayat leader in the party said, "How can we allow Mr Patil to become Dy CM? He ruined our vote bank due to his whimsical decision on Lingayat religion status."
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