Congress’ Karnataka president Dinesh Gundu Rao on Monday defended the recent cabinet reshuffle and warned partymen against anti-party activities. “If anybody in the future does anything against the interest of the party, then we will take it very seriously,” Rao said, as party senior leaders continued to air their unhappiness over being denied ministerial berths.
Nobody was above the party, he said, adding whether one was a panchayat member or MLA or Minister, “if anybody is working against the interest of the party in the future, we are going to take it very, very seriously.”
Rao’s warning came even as several party legislators, including Ramalinga Reddy, BC Patil, BK Sangamesh and Bheema Naik, came out openly against the party following the cabinet rejig on Saturday. Also, Ramesh Jarkiholi indicated his plans to quit as party MLA, miffed with the Congress leadership over being dropped from the ministry.
Based on the recommendations of the party’s disciplinary committee, KPCC on Monday expelled 9 district and taluk panchayat level leaders for anti-party activities during assembly, council and local body polls.
Rao said every cabinet expansion and reshuffle would have some kind of repercussions. “For a few days, there will be some emotional reactions, but I’m sure that everything will be resolved,” he said.
“We have done this cabinet expansion and reshuffle with a lot of thought process. North Karnataka had to be compensated because in the first ministry formation there were fewer ministers from the region. Today we have done justice toNorth Karnataka,” he said.
Pointing out that the party had also done social justicein this rejig, Rao said some seniors had been left out because of “permutations and combinations. I think we have done a very good exercise.”
Every cabinet expansion exercise will have “inconsistencies,” the KPCC chief said. Ruling out the possibility of disgruntled MLAs quitting the party, Rao said “We are all together and there will no damage to the coalition government which is very stable.” The KPCC chief said “I will speak to Ramesh Jarkiholi and others. We will reach out to them and I’m sure that they will come along.”
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy said that political developments were bound to cause some ripple, but they were all capable leaders. "Political developments, disillusionment and some expectations occur, I will try to talk to everyone. They're all capable leaders, but they are disappointed with the expansion of cabinet yesterday, Congress party will correct it," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)