Karnataka: Two JDS ministers likely to get new portfolios in cabinet

Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy has reportedly agreed to change portfolios of a couple of senior ministers following expressions of unhappiness by a couple of JDS ministers in the JDS-Congress government. Although Kumaraswamy did not publicly state an intent to change the portfolios of senior JDS leaders G T Devegowda and C S Puttaraju, the two ministers who held parleys with the CM and his father, former Prime Minister H D Devegowda, on Sunday claimed to have been assured of a change in their portfolios.

MLA from Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru region, G T Devegowda has been sulking since he was handed the higher education ministry, claiming he was not suited for the education portfolio and that he must be given a portfolio that offers greater opportunity for interaction with common people.

Puttaraju has been unhappy over being given the minor irrigation portfolio, he was expecting a bigger portfolio.

“I spoke to Kumaranna (Kumaraswamy) and he has agreed to change. The national president (H D Deve Gowda) and other leaders have agreed to change the portfolio,’’ said G T Devegowda, who defeated Congress CM Siddaramaiah in the elections in May.

Kumaraswamy, who is currently holding 11 portfolios, is likely to hand over one major portfolio in his kitty to G T Devegowda. Puttaraju is expected to be mollified with the offer of the position of minister in-charge of Mandya district.

While the dissidence in the JDS is believed to be under control, dissident activity in the Congress continued to simmer, with senior leaders who were denied cabinet berths now pushing the candidature of their supporters for six vacant berths.

The dissidents were scheduled to hold a meeting on Monday under the leadership of former ministers M B Patil and Satish Jharkhiholi, but did not do so after Patil held talks over the weekend with the Congress leadership. After a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Patil said on Sunday that he had no plans to quit the Congress. Jharkiholi has also stated that he would like to stay in the Congress.