Karnataka Congress legislators lobby for cabinet posts

Belagavi: Ahead of the cabinet expansion of the coalition government in the state on December 22, several party legislators are lobbying for their inclusion with party’s leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, said an official.

“Many legislators, including senior leaders have urged Siddaramaiah to recommend them to the party high command for the six cabinet posts vacant from the party’s quota in the 6-month-old JD(S)-Congress government,” a party official told IANS here on Tuesday.

As Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader, Siddaramaiah discussed the cabinet expansion and appointment of chairmen of boards and corporations with about 70 legislators on short-listing some of them for approval by party President Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on December 21.

“Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara of the Congress will submit the list of names finalised at the CLP meeting to ensure regional balance and fair representation of them region and caste wise,” said the official from the state’s northwest city, about 500km northwest of Bengaluru.

Among the senior legislators – HK Patil, MB Patil, Ramalinga Reddy and Roshan Baig were left out of the cabinet, formed in June after two parties forged an alliance following a hung verdict in the May 12 Assembly elections.

In the 34-member ministry, the Congress made 15 of its 80 legislators cabinet ministers while the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) filled 9 out of 11 posts as part of its quota.

“As all the legislators, including seniors cannot be accommodated in the ministry due to the 34-member limit, some of them have been shortlisted for posts of state-run boards and corporations.

As per the worked-out formula, the Congress is entitled to 20 of the 30 state-run boards and corporations and JD-S the remaining 10 posts.

The cabinet expansion is slated to take place in Bengaluru after the 10-day winter session of the state legislature concludes on Friday here.

“Heads of boards and corporations will be named after the cabinet expansion,” added the official.

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