Kalaburagi: Contrary to the statement issued by him on Sunday expressing his displeasure over denial of a ministerial berth to Kalaburagi district in the recent Cabinet reshuffle, Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge himself is understood to have shot down the move to give a berth to an MLA from the district.
Jewargi MLA Ajay Singh and Chincholi MLA Dr Umesh Jadhav were frontrunners for ministerial berths from the district but both missed the bus and have been appointed Special Representative in Delhi and chairman of State Warehousing Corporation respectively.
During his interaction with the media on Sunday, Mr Kharge had stated that though he had suggested the induction of an MLA from Kalaburagi, those at the helm of affairs did not consider his proposal. According to him, only AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal, KPCC President Dinesh Gundurao and Chairman of the Coordination Committee Siddaramaiah were involved in finalising the names.
“Knowing Mr Kharge’s stature in the party, will any Congress leader believe his words? The list was finalised only after Mr Kharge gave his consent,” well-placed sources in the party revealed.
It was learnt that neither Siddaramaiah nor Venugopal opposed the move to give a ministerial berth to Dr Ajay Singh as well as Dr Jadhav. Dr Jadhav enjoys a cordial relationship with Mr Siddaramaiah as he had seved as political secretary to the former CM.
On why Mr Kharge was not interested in getting an MLA from his district into the cabinet, a source said he did not want a challenger to his son Mr Priyank, who is now Minister for Social Welfare. If either Dr Ajay Singh or Dr Jadhav is made minister, they could have emerged as another power centre in district politics.
The reshuffle has caused much heartburn among members of the Dharam Singh family as they had reposed much confidence in the veteran Congressman. “Mr Kharge should have played the role of guardian for the family as he and late Dharam Singh were hailed as Lav-Kush. On the contrary he is trying to create impediments to benefit his son,” a political observer close to the family commented.
Further it was pointed out that Huvina Hadagali MLA P.T. Parameshwar Naik was inducted into the Cabinet only to deny a chance to Dr Jadhav. “As Dr Jadhav is a second term MLA and has a good track record as a legislator, he should have got representation under the Lambani quota. But Mr Kharge did not back him,” sources said.