H D Deve Gowda, K C Venugopal discuss berth pangs

Bengaluru: Janata Dal  (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda is reported to have met All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K.C. Venugopal in Delhi to make sure there are no hiccups in the Cabinet expansion in the state, which is expected to accommodate some of the Congress legislators unhappy at being sidelined in the government. While the Congress has only six more Cabinet berths to fill, it has triple the number vying for them, and this seems to be causing Mr Gowda some concern as he is afraid dissatisfaction among the MLAs could threaten the coalition government headed by his son and Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy.  

Mr Venugopal is, however, believed to have assured the JD(S) patriarch that there would  be no threat to the Kumaraswamy government as it had the blessings of Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, who had warned the disgruntled MLAs to deal with any issue they may have  calmly.   He reportedly informed him that Mr Gandhi had also instructed former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to keep  the Congress legislators in check and stop them from doing anything  to rock the coalition government. 

Going by sources, the Congress has decided to include senior legislators like H K Patil, M B Patil and Ramalinga Reddy in the Cabinet this time and accommodate others vying for positions  on various boards and corporations. The party has also threatened of disciplinary action against legislators embarrassing the coalition government with public statements.  Mr Gowda, for his part, is said to have asked the Congress leaders to ensure that his son was not disturbed for the next five years and offered to cooperate with the party in the coming assembly byelections to the Ramanagara and Jamkhandi constituencies and the Lok Sabha elections. 

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