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To quell dissent, Congress favours 2nd round of cabinet expansion

To quell dissent, Congress favours 2nd round of cabinet expansion

HK Patil

engaluru: Pressure seems to be mounting on the Congress leadership to fill up the remaining six ministerial berths it is entitled to in the coalition government following the open rebellion by disgruntled legislators over the denial of berths to them in the first round of Cabinet expansion.

Party sources told Deccan Chronicle that the leaders had not expected such a huge backlash from the legislators who have vent their ire in public and are backing protests in their respective constituencies. This had become a major embarrassment for party leaders who want to end this by taking up another round of Cabinet expansion as soon as possible to fill up the six berths.

Initially, the Congress had decided to fill up 15 berths in the first round of Cabinet expansion and then fill up the rest in the coming months. But seeing the kind of unrest the first round has unleashed in the party, state leaders are said to have advised the high command to complete the Cabinet expansion and give berths to all senior ministers including Mr H.K. Patil, Mr Ramalinga Reddy, Mr Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Mr Satish Jarkiholi, Mr H.M. Revanna and Mr S.R. Patil . “As most of the disgruntled legislators are not ready to wait till the coming Lok Sabha polls in 2019, there is a likelihood of the second round of Cabinet expansion being taken up very soon. The other ministerial aspirants will be accommodated in state-run boards and corporations,” said a source.

Meanwhile, sources said several senior members of the Legislative Council are unhappy over the fact that actor-turned politician Jayamala Ramachandra has become minister and is all set to become ruling party leader in the Upper House. The senior MLCs are unable to digest this as they wanted either Mr S.R. Patil or Mr H.M. Revanna to be made minister in view of their seniority and service to the party.

“There is also possibility of a rotation of ministers once in 20 months for which the high command is yet to give the green signal, sources said.