Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
Snapshot
    • Siddaramaiah’s cabinet reshuffle causes angry outbursts among the legislators
    • Threat of bandhs issued by supporters of many ministirial aspirants

After losing in Assam and Kerala in the recent assembly elections, Karnataka is the only major state where the Congress is in power, and party leaders from the state gave their leader Rahul Gandhi a birthday gift, which he rather not accept.

On Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s 46th birthday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inducted 13 ministers and dropped 14 from his cabinet. This major cabinet reshuffle could have been handled in an orderly manner, given the fact that the party had enough time to interact with MLAs and their supporters to explain and contain indiscipline. But, that was not the case on Sunday (19 June).

Supporters of dropped ministers and ministerial aspirants unleashed violent protests in in the state to the glee of opposition parties. Some of the dropped ministers vented their anger with choicest abuses. They threatened grave consequences for the party and their leaders.

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Instead of getting strength from the reshuffle, Siddaramaiah seemed to have sowed seeds of dissidence and weakened his position despite taking a bold decision to go with the number 13, considered unlucky by many. Lumpen elements calling themselves supporters of the dropped ministers V Srinivas Prasad, M H Ambareesh and Shivaraj Tangadagi took to the streets. According to ‘The Hindu’ -

Mr Ambareesh loyalists blocked the Mysuru -Bengaluru road near Mandya, holding up traffic. Supporters of Vijyanagar MLA M Krishnappa disrupted movement of vehicles on Mysuru-Bengaluru state highway and in his constituency in the City. Supporters of MLA Rajashekar Patil called for a bandh in Humnabad in Bidar district after their leader did not inducted in the Ministry. They also took out a motorcycle rally in the town forcing shops to shut down. Supporters of Ministerial aspirants such as Mallikayya Guttedar, Deputy Speaker Shivashankara Reddy, damaged vehicles, including Government-owned buses, in Kalaburagi, Gauribidanur, respectively.

Ministerial aspirants such as Mallikayya Guttedar and Deputy Speaker Shivashankara Reddy could not control their supporters, who damaged vehicles, government-owned buses, in Kalaburagi, Gauribidanur.

A group of 250 members claiming to be Krishnappa’s supporters even stormed into Vijayanagar Metro station creating a ruckus

A group of 250 members claiming to be Krishnappa’s supporters even stormed into Vijayanagar Metro station creating a ruckus. The train movement was disrupted for a few minutes. They had also blocked the entry and exit of metro stations to disrupt the Metro station service.

These supporters also hurled stones at shops, commercial establishments and on moving vehicles. The traffic movement from Nayandhalli junction to Satellite bus stand was disrupted for several hours.

For the record, the nine cabinet ministers inducted on Sunday are : Kagodu Thimmappa, KR Ramesh Kumar, Basavaraja Rayareddi, Meti Hullappa Yamanappa, Tanveer Sait, SS Mallikarjuna, MR Seetharam, Santosh Lad and Ramesh Laxmanrao Jarkiholi. The four ministers of state are : Priyank Kharge, Eshwara Kandre, Pramod Madhwaraj and Rudrappa Manappa Lamani.

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Fourteen ministers dropped are : Qamarul Islam, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, V Srinivasa Prasad, MH Ambareesh, Vinay Kumar Sorake, Satish Jarkiholi, Baburao Chinchansoor, Shivraj Tangadagi, SR Patil, Manohar Tahasildhar, K Abayachandra Jain, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Kimmane Ratnakar and PT Parameshwar Naik.

The opposition may also be unhappy with the induction of Kagodu Thimmappa and Ramesh Kumar. Both have provided fodder to the opposition with constant criticism of the government’s decisions. With them becoming ministers, the critics are going to feel the loss of bite from within the ruling establishment.

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