Bengaluru: A lone member of the upper House will be accommodated in the cabinet ahead of the joint session of legislature scheduled to commence on May 29.
In all probability, former leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, S.R. Patil, will be sworn-in as minister as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah got Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s consent during his meeting with her on Thursday. Without elaborating on the issue, the Chief Minister told media persons in New Delhi, “I discussed the issue (cabinet expansion) with AICC president Sonia Gandhi, and she has directed me to induct one member from Legislative council, which will be done as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, sources close to Siddaramaih said “It is natural to induct the incumbent leader of Opposition in Legislative Council into the cabinet. Until now, no party had broken this norm.” All MLCs had stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony of ministers on May 18 as a mark of protest against Siddaramaiah’s decision to keep them out of the ministry.
Siddaramaiah’s decision has sparked discontent among other aspirants—former ministers D. K. Shivakumar, K. B. Koliwad, C. Motamma and chairman of the campaign committee, Veeranna Mattikatti.
For, they have been lobbying in New Delhi for a week to secure a berth in the cabinet. While Shivakumar aspired for a place in the cabinet on grounds that he was a powerful Vokkaliga leader, Koliwad and Mattikatti sought a berth as they belong to the numerically significant Lingayat community. On the other hand, Motamma has emerged as the Dalit woman face of the party.
“She was instrumental in building a vast network of self-help groups of women across the state when she was a minister in S M Krishna’s cabinet. Therefore, she insisted that she be accommodated in the cabinet, but was unsuccessful,” sources in the party told Deccan Chronicle.