CLP meeting amid discontent within party

Team Udayavani, Dec 18, 2018, 11:08 AM IST

Belagavi: The Congress Legislature Party meeting will take place at the ‘Suvarna Vidhana Soudha’ here on Tuesday amid simmering discontent within the party on a host of issues, including the much-awaited cabinet expansion, party sources said.

The Suvarna Vidhana Soudha is modelled on the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat at Bengaluru.

The meeting is also expected to discuss issues related to alleged discrimination faced by party MLAs under the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, they said.

Recently many local party leaders and MLAs had petitioned the state leadership about the ‘discrimination’ meted out to them under the coalition government and the style of functioning of some JD(S) Ministers, including Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s brother and PWD Minister, H D Revanna.

However, Kumaraswamy will not attend the CLP meeting tomorrow.

Earlier, Siddaramaiah had said that the Chief Minister would be attending the meeting to hear the concerns of Congress MLAs.

The meeting has assumed significance ahead of the cabinet expansion slated for December 22.

Despite repeated reiteration by Congress leaders that the expansion will take place on the scheduled date, party MLAs are sceptical about it happening till the Lok Sabha polls early next year.

Recently two factions of the party- one of the Congress’ old guard and the other of MLAs from north Karnataka, had met separately during the ongoing session, with the aim of mounting pressure on the leadership.

One group of about eight to 10 senior MLAs and former Ministers, including Roshan Baig, Ramalinga Reddy and M T B Nagraj had met last week and expressed their dismay against the party leadership in the state, especially Siddaramaiah.

With a growing number of aspirants and limited ministerial berths, the Congress leadership in Karnataka, including KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao and CLP leader Siddaramaiah are scheduled to meet party President Rahul Gandhi on December 21 to finalise the list for the cabinet expansion.

With just a few days left for the expansion of the H D Kumaraswamy cabinet, top party sources said that the state leadership was also likely to discuss the possibilities of a cabinet reshuffle with Gandhi.

According to the pact reached between the two partners at the time of formation of the coalition government in May, there are now six vacant ministerial positions left for the Congress and two for the JD(S).

This will be the second expansion of Kumaraswamy’s ministry,who currently heads the 26-member cabinet.

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