Bengaluru: Barely five days after inducting eight new ministers into the state cabinet and triggering a rebellion of sorts among unsuccessful aspirants including Bengaluru strongman Ramalinga Reddy, the state Congress is battling another serious problem-portfolio allocation with many of the current ministers unwilling to give up the weighty portfolios they now hold.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr G. Parameshwar for one, is reported to be in no mood to give up the all important home portfolio and the key responsibility -Bengaluru development- despite the best efforts made by Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal and former CM Siddaramaiah on Wednesday. Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister Krishna Byre Gowda on his part is showing no signs of giving up RDPR or law and parliamentary affairs-another important subject he handles. Other senior ministers are equally uncomfortable with such requests.
The entire exercise, is therefore likely to drag on for some more days and the new ministers will have to remain content with staying on as 'ministers without portfolios' till contentious issues are thrashed out. In fact the scene has already shifted to New Delhi with AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal leaving for the national capital where the portfolio sharing is likely to be discussed and decided by the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, who incidentally may have met with Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to discuss the recent stresses and strains to the coalition, and the challenge posed by disgruntled Congressmen pulling down the government.
Though senior leaders including Mr Venugopal and KPCC President Dinesh Gundurao sought to play down the 'crisis,' sources said what could make their task difficult is the fact that, of the eight newly sworn-in ministers, seven are from North Karnataka. They will have to be given important portfolios failing which the impact would be felt during the Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile the newly inducted ministers too are lobbying hard to secure crucial ministries and so party leaders felt it best to seek the help of Mr Gandhi, a source explained.