Bengaluru: While Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundurao have promised to expand the cabinet soon to satisfy unhappy Congress MLAs, some legislators are afraid there are too many hurdles in the way of an expansion in the near future . Doing some fire-fighting, former Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, had after consulting All-India Congress Committee general secretary in- charge for Karnataka K.C. Venugopal assured the disgruntled MLAs that the Cabinet would be expanded immediately after the Council elections.
But with the Bharatiya Janata Party backing out of the contest, the poll was never held and two candidates of the Congress and one of the Janata Dal (Secular) were elected unopposed to the Legislative Council. Buying time once again, Mr Gundurao had on Wednesday promised a Cabinet expansion after Pitru Paksha, the two weeks of the month of Bhadrapada in the Hindu calendar, which are considered inauspicious for starting anything new.
And during his temple visit in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, Mr Kumaraswamy too promised to expand the Cabinet around October 10. But some Congress MLAs believe that the promises could be merely an eyewash as the party can at best accommodate six more on the Cabinet when there are 20 contenders.
“The party may find it hard to balance caste equations, regional aspirations and the contest between veterans and newcomers in its ranks. So it is more likely to put off the expansion,” says a senior leader from north Karnataka. An MLA from south Karnataka, for his part, argues that Mr Siddaramaiah’s reported suggestion for accommodating new faces in the cabinet and ignoring those who had held ministerial positions in his government, could also prove a hurdle in the cabinet expansion.
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