news Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | September 15, 2014 | 10.42 am IST The hectic lobbying ahead of the proposed cabinet expansion may have come to an end with the Congress narrowing down the list of ministerial aspirants to four. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is under pressure to expand the cabinet, but is reportedly reluctant to do so, given for starters that the state president of his party G Parameshwara wants to be Deputy Chief Minister, and the pair share an uneasy relationship. Including Parameshwara, four names have been shortlisted, but it is still unclear when the move will actually happen. Earlier, it was decided that the additional ministers would be inducted after Dasara, but with the Siddaramaiah and Parameshwarar sticking to their stands, it is unclear when the impasse will end. Although Parameshwara wishes to be made deputy chief minister, the party high command is against creating the post of a deputy chief minister when the Congress is not depending on a coalition to stay in power. Such a post would dilute the chief minister’s authority and create another power centre, the top brass feels. After the results of the by-polls were out, Karnataka in-charge Digvijaya Singh had met with the chief minister, ministers, and senior Congress leaders in Bangalore. At the time, he had said that the Congress top leadership has no objection to Parameshwara being made minister. The other three names on the short-list Arkalgud (Hassan) MLA A Manju may also be made a minister. He unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections against Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Deve Gowda. Manju has been elected from the constituency three times, first as a BJP candidate in 1999, and later on a Congress ticket in 2008 and 2013. The others are K B Koliwada, A B Malaka Reddy of Yadgir has in the past been the vice-president of the KPCC. Long-list of aspirants While four names have been shortlisted, the list of aspirants is quite long: Veeranna Mathikatti, Ishwara Khandre, Vinay Kulkarni, Rajshekar Patil, Shivamurthy Naik and Prakash Rathod, Basavaraj Rayareddy, Malikayya Guttedar, and Anil Lad. Anil Lad had earlier said: “My name was doing the rounds in the mining scam allegations but I was not named as an accused, so I deserve to be a minister.”

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