Bengaluru: The 'Sankranti shivers' triggered by the BJP for the eight month-old coalition fizzled out with two belligerent Congress legislators-Bheema Naik and Pratapgouda Patil, meekly meeting party general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal, in the presence of the media here on Wednesday, amid speculation that Mr. Naik and Mr. Patil as well as the 12 rebels who supported the BJP, may have been placated with the offer of plum posts.
The litmus test on whether the Congress has managed to keep its wayward MLAs within the party's fold will become clear at a key Congress Legislature Party meet on January 18, where a reshuffle of the ministries to accommodate the dissidents to stymie threats to the government is on the cards.
Sources in the know said that in the run up to the meeting between the angry legislators and Mr Venugopal, JD (S) supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda had spoken with Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, in the morning, following which Mr Venugopal was instructed "to do whatever it takes" to save the government. Mr Venugopal and former chief minister Siddaramaiah reportedly reached out directly to the leader of the disgruntled group, former minister, Ramesh Jarkiholi, as well as party MLA B. Nagendra who were in Mumbai. Mr. Venugopal and Mr. Siddaramaiah, who is close to the Jarkiholi family, assured the dissidents that their demands would be met. Shortly thereafter, the other dissidents in the group too fell in line and agreed to back off from threats to cross over to the BJP.