Siddaramaiah’s rise! Congress minister go into huddle

Bengaluru: Worried by the growing prominence of former Chief Minister and coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah in the coalition government,  Deputy Chief Minister Dr. G. Parameshwar and Water Resources Minister D.K.Shivakumar are reportedly trying to  reach out to other Congress ministers to gain their confidence. On Thursday the Congress Ministers were invited to a breakfast meeting at Mr Shivakumar’s home.  Although he tried to downplay the meeting, by calling it a mere get-together, sources say  he and Dr Parameshwar are trying to win over the Ministers.

At the meeting, Mr Shivakumar reportedly tried to clear the air about his  alleged friendship with  Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and about allegations that he was not standing up for the Congress in the government.  He is said to have categorically told the Ministers that he was fully behind the party in all matters concerning it.  But speaking to reporters later, Mr Shivakumar claimed the breakfast meet was merely a continuation of the luncheon meeting held at Mr Siddaramaiah’s house. 

“We discussed the present political scenario in the state, nothing more. The meeting was restricted to only  Congress Ministers to ensure smooth functioning of the government,” he said, adding that the occasion did not call for attendance by Mr  Siddaramaiah or KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao.

“When needed I will invite them, but this meeting was only for Congress Ministers,” he said in reply to a question. His friend-turned foe, Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi was conspicuous by his absence at the meeting where Mr Shivakumar is also said to have explained the status of the income tax cases against him and advised the Ministers to work unitedly for the coming byelections to the Ramanagara and Jamakhandi assembly seats.

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