Will DK Shivakumar hold disgruntled Cong MLAs together till LS polls?

Ballari: If the Congress has picked water resources minister D.K. Shivakumar for the post of Ballari district in-charge minister despite the fact that he hails from Ramanagara district in South Karnataka, there is  a good reason for it. 

The party has six MLAS from the district , some of them recent entrants from the JD(S) and BJP and Mr Shivakumar is expected to keep them within the Congress fold even if some of them are left out during the cabinet expansion which could happen soon. 

A Vokkaliga, may seem an odd choice for  Scheduled Tribe dominant Ballari but the role Mr Shivakumar played in the politics of this mining district in recent years has benefitted his party enormously. He was successful in ensuring the victory of Congress candidate Mr N.Y. Gopalakrishna in the 2014 by-election from Ballari (ST) assembly constituency in a district where minelord Gali Janardhan Reddy and his close aide  B Sriramulu wield considerable influence. Mr Shivakumar was  in charge of this poll campaign.

His stock went up when he  came to the rescue of his party at the time of formation of the JDS-Congress coalition government in May this year, by holding the flock of six Congress legislators together when they were vulnerable to poaching by the  Reddy brothers and their associates.  

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