Bengaluru: Threats of resignation by legislators and widespread protests by their supporters mirrored the rage among Congress leaders who accused veteran leader M Mallikarjun Kharge and former chief minister Siddaramaiah of bias while backing candidates for berths in the cabinet on Wednesday.
Besides threats of resignation by legislators including B K Sangameshwara (Bhadravati), and rants and raves by other leaders, many former ministers skipped the swearing in ceremony as a mark of protest against selection of 15 members to join the two-week-old government. A dozen legislators met at the residence of former minister Satish Jarkiholi while few others got together in a posh hotel to work out pressure tactics and to secure a position in the next round of expansion. Such was the ire of unsuccessful ministerial aspirants that eight legislators belonging to Kuruba community, who share Mr Siddaramaiah's caste, did not show up at Raj Bhavan because the leader backed an independent, R Shankar, also of the same community, instead of them.
Sources in Congress said all Congress Members of the Legislative Council are livid with actress-politician Jayamala making the cut as the lone woman minister notwithstanding the fact that she was elected to the upper House a couple of years ago. In the process, the party ignored several senior MLCs like Mr K C Kondaiah, Mr S R Patil and Mr V S Ugrappa. Besides occupying the post of minister, Jayamala will function as leader of House much to the chagrin of these senior MLCs. "Now we are left with no choice than abide by her decisions as she will don the role of leader of the House," rued one senior MLC.
Mr Zameer Ahmed Khan was also preferred over former minister R Roshan Baig ostensibly to checkmate JD(S) leaders and ministers and maintain a degree of tension between the coalition partners. Mr Zameer Ahmed Khan was among seven JD (S) legislators who were suspended from the JD(S) for violating the whip during Rajya Sabha polls in 2016....