Bengaluru: Former minister M B Patil and other legislators who raised a banner of revolt on not making it to the cabinet when he met with party president Rahul Gandhi and other central leaders of Congress, was cut to size by Akbar Road on Saturday, with Mr Patil rebuffed over his ambition to be second deputy Chief Minister, and only given an assurance that the party knew when to reward “loyal soldiers".
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior Congress leader based in New Delhi said: "Mr Patil poured his heart out to party leaders including Mr Gandhi but he was not given any assurance except that he will be rewarded at an appropriate time. This is the standard procedure adopted when unsuccessful aspirants land in Delhi and meet our leaders. Senior leaders are aware of this strategy and do not resort to anti-party activities but strive to achieve posts through lobbying”.
The leader said central leaders told Mr Patil not to nurse any ambitions of securing the post of deputy Chief Minister as it would set a wrong precedent and give room for others too to demand such a post. “Therefore, as a party loyalist, we (Mr Gandhi) expect you to work for the party as the party knows when to reward you for your hard work,” the leader quoted senior leaders like Mr Ahmed Patel who accompanied Mr Gandhi during the meeting as saying during a 45-minute meeting.
Emerging from his meeting with Mr Gandhi and other top leaders, Mr Patil told the media: “I have explained everything to Mr Gandhi. He gave a patient hearing. I gave a clear picture to him about the political situation in the state. He also gathered opinions of other leaders."
Answering a question on whether he got any assurance from Mr Gandhi on induction into the cabinet, Mr Patil retorted, "I have not placed any demand before the party high command. I am not an aspirant for the DCM or a ministership or KPCC president's post. I have not discussed these issues with anyone."
In addition, he also contended that he was not alone. “I have many friends in the party, including AICC secretary Satish Jarkiholi. I will discuss about the meeting with them. I will decide the future course of action after meeting my friends," he added.
Dismissing news reports that senior Congress leader M. Mallikarjun Kharge was responsible for his unsuccessful bid to enter the cabinet, Mr Patil described Mr Kharge as a senior leader for whom he had the highest respect. Don't blame him," said former minister, who reached Delhi on Friday night, and met Mr Ahmed Patel first on Saturday morning.
Later, Mr Patil along with Mr Patel met Mr Gandhi at his residence. KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao and law and parliamentary affairs minister Krishna Byre Gowda were also present at the meeting but remained tight-lipped, while maintaining that issues discussed with Mr Gandhi were internal affairs of the party.
Meanwhile, sources in the party said Mr Patil failed to read the mind of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi and the manner in which they dealt with former energy minister D. K. Shivakumar who was the first to demand the position of deputy Chief Minister before the swearing in of the coalition government on May 23. Mr Shivakumar, too, was assured that he would be rewarded at an appropriate time, sources said adding the same formula was employed to pacify Mr Patil....