Delay in Bengaluru Corp Board appointments sparks discontent

The issue has sparked tension among leaders, and there is speculation that senior leaders are preparing to engage in a consensus-building exercise.

A storm is brewing within the corridors of power in Bengaluru as appointments to various boards and corporation bodies face prolonged delays.

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Until late Tuesday night, chief minister Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar engaged in discussions with AICC Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, the special guest at a private hotel, regarding appointments to board and corporations.

During the meeting, Surjewala analyzed the opinions of Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar. Despite extensive deliberations, reaching a final decision proved elusive.

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Discontent is intensifying among Congress legislators and workers over the delayed appointments to the board and corporations. Meanwhile, senior leaders within the party are engaging in a tussle for consensus.

The issue has sparked tension among leaders, and there is speculation that senior leaders are preparing to engage in a consensus-building exercise.

While Siddaramaiah was urging the legislators to appoint members to Nigam and Mandal, senior leaders from the Congress, including those affiliated with D K Shivakumar’s faction, are pushing for proportional representation.

The proposed ratio is 70:30, ensuring that 70 percent of the positions go to MLAs and 30 percent to party workers. This has added another layer to the ongoing power struggle.

In the backdrop of the Lok Sabha elections, prioritizing Congress MLAs for appointments to boards and corporations is seen as a favourable move. However, dissatisfaction is growing among party workers as they feel neglected in the process. In response to this, D K Shivakumar emphasized the need to allocate opportunities to both MLAs and party workers in appointments.

Surjewala’s phone calls to senior leaders have added to the intrigue, especially as a list has been prepared and made public. The chief minister and deputy chief minister, in an attempt to maintain control, have urged senior leaders to avoid publicizing any differences within the party.

As the debate unfolds, Surjewala’s active role in telephone conversations with senior leaders has raised questions about whose opinions he is endorsing. Some senior leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with Surjewala’s telephone calls, stating that such interactions should be avoided before the publication of the list.

Amid these developments, Surjewala has emphasized the need for responsibility in handling appointments to the board and corporations, urging senior leaders to notify promptly if there are any objections or disputes.

The political landscape in Bengaluru remains tense as the power struggle within the Congress party unfolds, adding a layer of complexity to the already-delayed appointments to board and corporations.

An MLA from the north Karnataka region told on condition of anonymity that many MLAs who missed cabinet berths were keen on presidentship in boards and corporations as the high command promised them earlier.

The announcement of the president and members of boards and corporations may trigger dissidence.

There are a total of 85 boards and corporations under the government with complete authority to make appointments within them. This includes the appointment of the President, Vice President, Members, and Directors. All political parties exercise their right to make appointments when they come into power.

With the exception of certain corporations and boards, the average salary for a chairman stands at Rs 40,000. MLAs stand to benefit significantly if they are granted cabinet-level status.

Additionally, the perks include a hospitality cost of Rs 16,000, a daily travel allowance of Rs 2000, a housing allowance or rent of Rs 1 lakh, and the provision of a thousand litres of petrol per month. Moreover, there is an opportunity to hire one personal secretary, two personal assistants, and two attendants.

It’s noteworthy that these perks and allowances contribute to the overall compensation structure, and the allocation of these benefits often depends on the specific position and level of responsibility within the corporation.

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