Amid coalition worries and impending cabinet expansion or reshuffle, the Janata Dal (Secular) legislature party Tuesday took stock of the ongoing political developments.
The meeting was attended by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, party patriarch H D Deve Gowda and A.H. Vishwanath, who earlier announced his resignation as party’s state unit president.
During the meeting, the legislators and party leadership requested Vishwanath to take back his resignation, but he remained adamant, party sources said.
The party leadership also asked legislators not to make open remarks against alliance partner Congress, in order to keep the coalition government safe, while making them aware about the need to continue the partnership.
Legislators were also asked to be aware of any attempts by the BJP to lure ruling coalition’s MLAs to switch sides, in their attempt to destabilise the government, the sources said. They also discussed the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha and Urban Local Body polls, and plans to strengthen the organisation across the state from the grassroot level, sources said, adding that legislators have authorised the leadership to make organisational changes.
According to the sources, Kumaraswamy, who is also the JD(S)legislature party leader, discussed with legislators the issue of cabinet rejig that is on the cards and about the possibility of inducting Independent MLA Nagesh and KPJP MLA R. Shankar into the cabinet from the JD(S)’ share in ministry.
Shankar was initially minister in Kumaraswamy’s cabinet, but was subsequently dropped during the reshuffle in December last year, following which both of them withdrew their support to the government and sided with the BJP. Kumaraswamy and coordination committee chief Siddaramaiah has held several rounds of meetings recently, the last being on Saturday night on cabinet expansion or reshuffle, following which a top official source had said, it is likely to take place only after June 4.
There seems to be worry within the Congress about cabinet expansion or reshuffle with growing number of aspirants in the party. Of the total 34 ministerial positions in Karnataka, the Congress party and the JD(S) have shared 22 and 12 respectively.
Currently, three posts are vacant, two from JD(S) and one from Congress.
Coalition worries have increased after BJP’s spectacular win with 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in its pocket, leaving a mere one seat each to the Congress and the JDS, which, despite a joint poll fight, were swept away by the Modi wave.