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Congress has come up with this rotation plan to keep its ministers on their toes and send the message across that they will make way for others waiting in line. KPCC president G Parameshwara had announced a similar performance assessment for ministers in the previous Siddaramaiah government but it did not take off.
AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, K C Venugopal, told TOI on Thursday that the party high command had worked out a three-point formula on the induction of ministers and their continuity. “This is not the final cabinet. The ministers’ performance will be reviewed every six months and those not meeting targets will be asked to go. For the time-being, no first-time MLA will be inducted into the cabinet. The six berths which have not been filled will be kept on hold. The ministers’ tenure is on a rotation basis for two years,” Venugopal added.
KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said when the reshuffle happens after two years, the new ministers who come in will have a tenure of three years. “But those who do not perform will be asked to go during the periodic six-month performance assessment,” he said.
Party members who could not make it to the cabinet have accused Venugopal and Parameshwara of failing to make the right choices. The party high command is taking a dim view of the dissent by ministerial aspirants, party sources said. “Those who are speaking against the leadership will not be considered for berths in future,” a source said.
Even a day after the swearing in, portfolios were not allocated. A senior functionary said it is likely to happen on Friday by when it is expected that the dissidence will die down.
However, many functionaries, including key members of the previous Siddaramaiah ministry who have been dropped, are not relenting. One of them, Kuruba leader H M Revanna, said he is already in talks with BJP functionaries and plans to join the party. BJP functionaries, too, admitted that Revanna had approached them and they would be glad to accommodate him.
A meeting at M B Patil’s residence in Bengaluru on Thursday was attended by disgruntled MLAs, including M T B Nagaraj, Satish Jarkiholi, K Sudhakar and Baig. Emerging from the meeting, Jarkiholi, who is also an AICC secretary, said they discussed the cabinet expansion as many were upset over not getting ministership despite their efforts to “strengthen the party”.
“We’ve discussed how to set it right by bringing it to the notice of the party high command for ignoring capable and efficient aspirants,” he added.
However, Patil, who was at the forefront to demand minority religion tag for Lingayats, downplayed the meeting, saying they discussed the welfare of the party.