Karnataka Cabinet reshuffle: DKS was Siddaramaiah's strategist

Till Shivakumar entered the scene, Siddaramaiah was hesitant to give shape to his plan to drop senior ministers.

Bengaluru: Nine days after the controversial Cabinet reshuffle, critical information related to this exercise, that has left many furious and a few ecstatic, has started coming out.

Highly placed sources in the Congress party said it was energy minister D.K. Shivakumar, who played a major role in giving shape to the reshuffle to ensure an advantage to Mr Siddaramaiah, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and himself.

Till Mr Shivakumar entered the scene, Mr Siddaramaiah was reportedly hesitant to give final shape to his plan. It was the energy minister who gave the finishing touches and later orchestrated every scene that unravelled before and during the cabinet reshuffle, said sources.

Mr Siddaramaiah wanted to drop ministers like Ambareesh, Qamarul Islam and Baburao Chinchansoor and was keen on inducting Kagodu Thimmappa and his follower Basavaraj Rayareddy.

Mr Shivakumar worked in tandem with central leaders to strike a balance which would benefit Mr Siddaramaiah, Mr Kharge and himself. He coaxed the CM to tell first time MLAs not to come to Delhi and ensured that Mr Siddaramaiah got the appointments of all central leaders.

The trade off: Mr Siddaramaiah and his clique will get Vokkaliga support in Mysuru region with the help of Mr Shivakumar. Mr Siddaramaiah, by dropping Dalit veteran Mr V. Srinivas Prasad, would make efforts to anoint Dr H.C. Mahadevappa as ‘the Dalit leader’ of the region and control the vote bank. Mr Shivakumar, by getting Ambareesh dropped from the ministry, would get control of Mandya district.

He has already become the in-charge of Mandya district. With the reshuffle, Mr Shivakumar’s ambition of becoming the Vokkaliga posterboy of the Congress has almost been achieved.

Sources in the party said it was Mr Shivakumar, on the advice of state women Congress president Laxmi Hebbalkar, who got Satish Jarkiholi dropped from the cabinet and brought in Ramesh Jarkiholi. Sources said that Mrs Hebbalkar now virtually controls the Belagavi district administration with the backing of Mr Shivakumar.

A remarkable comeback!
Mr Shivakumar has made a remarkable comeback and has won the hearts of many AICC leaders in spite of being shunned by them in early 2000. The energy minister, who seems to be determined to become CM after 2020, has enough support in the AICC and made his way into the state Cabinet though Mr Siddaramaiah did not induct him in 2013 after the polls.

He also wields a lot of influence over NSUI and the state women’s wing of the Congress party. His next target is the KPCC president’s post. Sources said he may take up the post perhaps a year before the 2018 election so that he can control the party as a whole.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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