The JD(S)-Congress state cabinet will not be expanded anytime in the near future, sources have said. However, the nomination of presidents for state corporation boards is going to take place soon.
At present, six ministerial positions are vacant under the Congress quota. More than a dozen senior MLAs are lobbying to get included in the ministry. They are also showing their might through their supporters. However, Congress high command has warned that it will not budge to pressures of this nature by its party MLAs. It is also learned that the Congress high command has taken a decision not to expand the cabinet in the next six months.
In the midst of these developments, it has been decided to complete the first phase of a nomination of presidents for the state corporations and boards. As per the decision that was taken in the meeting of the coordination committee, Congress will get 20 of the 30 vacant positions of boards and corporations, while the JD(S) will get 10.
Generally, party workers are given preference in the recruitment of state corporation boards. However, this time around it is likely that these will be given to MLAs, in order to keep them under control as most of them are unhappy with not being included in the ministry. However, Congress is facing stiff opposition for this move by the lower level leaders and workers of the party. It is learned that the high command of Congress is not paying any heed to this pressure and has decided to pacify the frustrated MLAs by offering them the top positions in the state corporations and boards.
KC Venugopal, general secretary of AICC in charge of Karnataka, will visit the city by the end of this week. He will finalize the names of the MLAs for the positions of presidentship of various state corporations after holding a discussion with Dr. G Parameshwar, deputy chief minister and the eminent leaders of the Congress party. It is learned that Rahul Gandhi, president of AICC has already given the go-ahead in this connection.
The state cabinet will continue to function without hiccups as the unhappy MLAs, who raised the voice of dissent, are pacified due to the offer of the president positions in various state corporation boards. If the state cabinet is expanded now, the dissident MLAs may assume that the high command bowed to their pressure. In addition, this might lead to further rebellion in the party. If the MLAs, who are deprived of any authority, begin to raise their voice again, it might shake the very foundation of the coalition government. So the Congress high command has taken a decision to avert any impending situation, and taken the firm decision of not getting the cabinet expanded at all for the time being.
For the same reason, the valuation of the style of functioning of the present ministers will be undertaken after completion of six months of their tenure. The present ministers including DCM Dr. Parameshwar will be holding the positions for only two years. The cabinet is going to be then reshuffled for the next three years. Moreover, till the next Lok Sabha elections, the coalition government wants to stay put at any cost. It is being said that Congress high command will expand the state cabinet only after taking into account the results of the Lok Sabha elections and the developments that might take place after the results.