A Manju, Vinay Kulkarni elevated, Krishnappa made mantri

After a slew of petitions landed in the hands of senior central leaders of the party, the CM decided on the mid-course correction.

Bengaluru: In a bid to retain the support of voters of numerically significant Vokkaligas and Lingayats, CM Siddaramaiah elevated his aides—A. Manju and Vinay Kulkarni— to the rank of cabinet ministers.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader said the Chief Minister factored in two aspects during this exercise: Mr Manju’s seniority over Mr Krishnappa who was sworn in as minister on Monday, while Mr Kulkarni belongs to Lingayat community and in his home district, Dharwad, labour minister Santhosh Lad already occupies a cabinet rank portfolio.

Second, the ruling Congress had adopted a mid-course correction as Mr Siddaramaiah's emphasis on his AHINDA vote bank had upset voters of these two dominant communities and fears that they could desert the part.

“Vokkaligas and Lingayats felt slighted for a long time because they were under the impression that Mr Siddaramaiah gave them a raw deal while presenting his budget.

After a slew of petitions landed in the hands of senior central leaders of the party, the Chief Minister decided on the mid-course correction. As part of the course correction strategy, Mr Siddaramaiah gave plum portfolios to Lingayats after a reshuffle of his cabinet three months ago, the leader added.

The leader contended that both these factors worked in favour Mr Manju and Mr Kulkarni resulting in their elevation.

KPCC meet to discuss strategy for ’18 polls

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) co-ordination committee meeting scheduled for next week, is likely to discuss the party’s reorganisation strategy to prepare itself for the 2018 assembly polls.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader said the party is likely discuss issues like reorganisation of the state unit as well as various units from the block to district level.

New working president, Dinesh Gundu Rao favours the reconstitution of the state unit entirely ahead of the Assembly elections.
Apart from this, the committee will also chalk out a detailed ‘course correction’ for the state government.

“The Congress wants to portray itself as a party of the poor instead of showcasing itself as a champion of the AHINDA communities (Mr Siddaramaiah’s pet theme).

The party wants to be seen as an organization which takes everyone along instead catering to a particular community or group of communities,” the source added.

The source contended that the Congress cannot isolate itself from major vote blocs such as the Vokkaligas and Lingayats.

“These two castes constitute a huge chunk of votes. We cannot get isolated from these two communities by pitching for the AHINDA communities alone, we need to attract these communities too,” the source explained.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story