Karnataka: Santosh Lad, R Ramalinga Reddy not keen to home' in

After DK tension, jail row, CM keen on divesting himself of portfolio.

Bengaluru: Amid strong criticism from the opposition that the state had no full time home minister, it has come to light now that Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah made an unfruitful attempt to give the home portfolio to one of his colleagues.

At present, Mr Siddaramaiah is handling the portfolio after Dr G. Parameshwar quit the cabinet as per the one man one post norm of the Congress to remain KPCC president. Two issues the state police's failure to control communal tension in Dakshina Kannada district and AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala getting VVIP treatment in Bengaluru central prison has ignited the debate on the state deserving to have a full time home minister.

Sources in the government told Deccan Chronicle that Mr Siddaramaiah tried to give the portfolio first to transport minister, R. Ramalinga Reddy, a seasoned politician, and later to labour minister, Santosh Lad. However, both of them politely turned down the offer.

According to sources, both Mr Reddy and Mr Lad were not keen to return the portfolios they were presently handling. "They have done tremendous work in their departments and they do not want someone else to get the credit ahead of the assembly polls. So, they wanted to take up the home department as an additional portfolio besides retaining their portfolios. However, the CM was not keen on such an arrangement. Therefore, the process did not reach its logical end," sources said.

In spite of Mr Siddaramaiah denying that the delay in carrying out the expansion had to do with the ongoing Aashada Maasa, a Hindu month which is inauspicious for launching any new project, the cabinet expansion may not take place till the month gets over. "On July 20, the presidential election process will conclude and the next day, AICC president Rahul Gandhi will be in Bengaluru for inaugurating an international seminar on Ambedkar. The CM may discuss with Mr Gandhi the expansion issue and in all probability, it may take place after July 23 when Aashada Maasa ends," sources explained.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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