How Siddaramaiah check-mates his party president
news Monday, October 27, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 20,, 2014 | 5.04 pm IST Chief Minister Siddaramaiah may just have beaten state party president G Parameshwara at his own game. For now, at least. At the core of the current scenario in the Congress in Karnataka is the proposed cabinet expansion and appointments to the various boards and corporations of the state. Dozens of Congress leaders wish to become ministers including Parameshwara, and a few thousand part workers want to be appointed to various boards and corporations. In short, a tough situation compounded by political one-upmanship. There are around four vacancies in the Cabinet, over 15 posts of presidents and over 650 posts of members to the various boards and corporations. According to Congress Secretary P R Ramesh, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has received 10,000 applications for these posts. According to sources, of this number, around 600 applications are for the post of president to these boards and corporations. Among those who aspire to be presidents of the boards or corporations are 20 MLAs, 40 former MLAs and 15 party leaders who had been given the ticket to contest elections but had lost. Parameshwara has made it loud and clear that he wishes to be Deputy Chief Minister, and it is equally well-known that Siddaramaiah is not in favour of including him in the Cabinet. Siddharamaiah's plan The chief minister was leaning towards appointing MLAs to the boards and corporations as that would mean that he could induct at least MLAs close to him into the Cabinet. His plan was to appoint Parameshwara as just another minister. The party high command is not in favour of creating the post of deputy chief minister. But Parameshwara is said to have started moving the pawns to try and make that possible. Parameshwara's counter plan If the Chief Minister wanted to quell rebellion by accommodating MLAs to various boards and corporation, Parameshwara is said to have persuaded the AICC to avoid appointing MLAs to posts in boards and corporation. His argument was apparently that MLAs already had the power to work for the people and that there was no need to grant them any extra power. With his, he hoped to turn the MLAs against Siddaramaiah, and get them on his side. As a counter to that, Siddaramaiah is said to have proposed that in making the appointments, even former MLAs and those who had contested the elections and lost, should not be considered. Parameshwara's plans backfire The AICC has finally announced that appointments to the boards and corporations would be made after Diwali and that the AICC had formulated guidelines according to which action would be taken. Fresh faces would be given a chance, and MLAs, former MLAs and those who had lost elections after getting the party ticket would not be considered. Parameshwara seems to have fallen into the pit he dug, as MLAs and former MLAs who were dreaming of plum posts have turned against him.