Bengaluru: Although Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dr G. Parameshwar have arrived at a broad understanding that a Kuruba, Lingayat and Dalit should be accommodated during the coming cabinet expansion, they are still undecided on the region and sect in these communities they should prefer while making the selection.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a senior leader in the Congress disclosed that among dalits, the fight for the cabinet berth is now between the Chalawadi and Madiga communities while among Kurubas, it is between Congress leaders in north Karnataka and south Karnataka.
In the case of the Lingayat nominee, the leaders are yet to arrive at a consensus on which sect within the community should be given the berth.
The source added that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is under pressure from his own community to give the cabinet berth to someone from north Karnataka as there is no Kuruba representation in the cabinet other than the Chief Minister himself.
“Although, former minister, H.M. Revanna was the frontrunner for the berth till last week, he has suddenly fallen out of favour after botching up the no-confidence motion against Legislative Council chairman, D.H. Shankaramurthy. Therefore, the scale has tilted in favour of a representative from north Karnataka,” the source added.
As for the dalit berth, the Chalawadi sect contends that their community has been wholeheartedly supporting the Congress for several decades while Madigas have been ‘opportunistic.’
Except for seven-time Lok Sabha MP, K.H. Muniyappa, no other prominent Madiga leader has emerged in the Congress.
Madiga leaders on the other hand accuse Chalawadi leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, late K.H. Ranganath and Dr G Parameshwar of being responsible for the decimation of their representation in the Congress forcing the community to turn its back on the ruling party. If the Congress wants to reverse this trend, the party must start nurturing Madiga leaders at various levels,” these leaders stressed.
In the case of the Lingayat nominee, senior leaders seem to have arrived at a consensus on selecting someone from a region and sect which has gone unrepresented so far. “We have to strike balance among the Lingayats, therefore, we are yet to finalize the name,” the source explained....