Cracks surface in Karnataka Congress over new appointments

Ministers contend that MLAs should have been consulted before allocating corporations under their portfolios

Bengaluru: The ruling Congress in Karnataka is facing internal dissent as ministers voice their dissatisfaction over the appointment of presidents and vice-presidents of various corporations and  boards under their respective departments.

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Allegations of sidelining dedicated party workers and not considering the opinions of ministers have created a new crisis within both the government and the party. According to sources, around 17 ministers have raised objections regarding names in the leaked appointment list before its official release. The list, containing names of 37 MLAs and 39 Congress activists, was signed by AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal. However, the leaked list lacked details about which corporation boards were assigned to the individuals, leading to confusion and discontent among party members.

AICC general secretary KC Venugopal’s involvement in the appointment process has been criticised, with ministers expressing displeasure against him without directly naming him. The leaked list was expected to be officially released after a recent election committee meeting at the KPCC office, but it was withheld on the instructions of party state in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala.

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Chief minister Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar expressed displeasure over the delay in appointments, which escalated with ministers emphasising the need for more inclusive discussions before appointments are made.

The CM acknowledged the challenges of consulting everyone before making appointments but insisted that a collaborative approach should have been taken. He mentioned discussions with deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar and asserted that the list was awaiting approval from party in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, with KC Venugopal’s signature pending.

Ministers contend that MLAs should have been consulted before allocating corporations under their portfolios. Concerns have been raised about the lack of consideration for opinions while appointing MLAs to corporations, particularly those with significant grants. The controversy has centered around key positions in corporations such as Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL), and Ambedkar Development Corporation.

Deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar, defending the appointment process, stated that opinions were taken into account, and guidelines were set to empower everyone.

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