BENGALURU: With polls to urban local bodies (ULBs) scheduled for August 29, the wait for ministerial aspirants will get longer as Congress leaders are wary of the consequences of an expansion of the cabinet ahead of these crucial elections. With several contenders in the race for six berths, top Congress leaders would rather that all of them work for the success of party candidates and thus improve the party's prospects ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls than rush through with an expansion at this juncture.
Party president Rahul Gandhi has advised state unit leaders to defer an expansion of the ministry fearing rebellion by those who do not make it to the cabinet. "We are aware of the long list of legislators who are lobbying to become ministers. It is better wait for them for at least another month," sources in the party told Deccan Chronicle, adding that these restive aspirants include senior legislators and former ministers Mr H K Patil, Mr Ramalinga Reddy, Mr M B Patil, and Mr H M Revanna.
While most of them were vocal about seeking a berth in the cabinet, the biggest challenge ahead for party leaders would be to make them work for the party's victory in forthcoming polls particularly in the light of the fact that some of these legislators did not even attend the budget session of legislature last month, sources added.
Sources said the party could also face the prospect of some aspirants adopting a neutral stand rather than work for success of party candidates as they failed to make it to the cabinet in the first round of expansion. "We don't know how they (disgruntled MLAs') will take it, but we are not sparing any efforts to convince them," sources added. Meanwhile, a couple of senior legislators met party general secretary Mr K C Venugopal, and mounted pressure on him to complete the process of cabinet expansion ahead of polls to ULBs as it would enthuse them to work for victory of party candidates. They also called on former CM Siddaramaiah, ahead of his visit to New Delhi to take part in the CWC meeting....