Sulking Cong leaders will be Siddaramaiah’s test

The new Congress government in Karnataka is likely to convene its first legislature session around May 29,Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Saturday after his first meeting with his new cabinet.

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore | Published: May 19, 2013 12:51:19 am

The new Congress government in Karnataka is likely to convene its first legislature session around May 29,Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Saturday after his first meeting with his new cabinet.

The 28-member ministry was sworn in Saturday morning amid protests by supporters of some senior leaders who did not find berths in it on account of the Congress’s attempt to keep out legislators with cases pending against them.

Siddaramaiah indicated that a legislature session,where a fresh state budget is likely to be presented,would be convened by May 29 after convincing senior Congress leader Kagodu Thimappa,who lost out on a ministry berth on account of his advancing age,to take up the position of Speaker.

Among others to lose out on positions in the ministry are former ministers D K Shivakumar,Roshan Baig and Anil Lad,the mining businessman named in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining. Shivakumar’s supporters staged protests outside the Raj Bhavan and outside the residence of former external affairs minister S M Krishna who is considered his political godfather.

The key position in the cabinet from the Vokkaliga community,to which Shivakumar and Krishna belong,went to actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh,another Krishna protégé,who had a running feud with the former external affairs minister in the run-up to the polls as he tried to assert himself as the state’s premier Vokkaliga leader.

Among other senior Congress leaders who lost out was former health minister A B Maalaka Reddy. His supporters staged protests in the new district of Yadgir and ransacked the Congress office there. In Mysore,supporters of Tanveer Sait,son of former minister Azeez Sait,staged protests over denial of a ministerial berth.

Among the surprise inclusions was young mining businessman Santhosh Lad,a cousin of Anil Lad. Santhosh is believed to have found his way into the ministry on account of his proximity to Siddaramaiah and some important central Congress leaders. Critically acclaimed character actress Umashree is the lone woman in the ministry.

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