Bengaluru: Sensing trouble for the fledgling coalition government in Karnataka, CM H.D. Kumaraswamy and senior Congress leaders on Friday made a beeline for the house of former minister M.B. Patil, who has raised the banner of revolt after being denied a Cabinet berth.
Mr Kumaraswamy, who also met former minister Satish Jarkiholi and MLAs Sudhakar and M.T.B. Nagaraj on Thursday, met Mr Patil on Friday afternoon, accompanied by deputy CM G. Parameshwar and ministers D.K. Shivakumar, R.V. Deshpande and K.J. George. But Mr Patil reportedly refused to be pacified and claimed there were 15-20 other legislators who were upset at their treatment by the party and would take a decision on their future in a day and two.
Learning of the revolt, it was JD(S) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda who asked Mr Kumaraswamy to visit Mr Patil. HDK, who spent almost an hour with Mr Patil, said the Congress high command may have to address some of his grievances.
“Though he belongs to the Congress, I came to talk to him as I head the government. Besides, my father and Mr Patil's father have worked together in the past. I have heard what he had to say. But he has not committed to anything, saying he has to consult others, who are in touch with him after being deprived of Cabinet berths," Mr Kumaraswamy said.
Mr Patil too later told reporters that he could not refuse to meet Mr Kumaraswamy when he asked to come to his house for a chat over coffee, although he was not from the Congress.
Making his displeasure clear at the way he was being treated by the party, he said: “It has dumped us, but we are not doing the same. Around 15 to 20 legislators are in touch with me. We will meet in a day or two and take a decision.”
Sources said Mr Patil was not happy with the offer of a ministerial position in the next Cabinet expansion and is pitching for the post of a second deputy chief minister.
At his meeting with Mr Kumaraswamy, Mr Patil talked tough, regretting that the party had used him for issues like the Lingayat-Veerashaiva conflict and the elections, but dropped him when it came to a Cabinet berth. He was also upset that his arch-rival Shivananda Patil had been made a minister instead, sources added....