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Disgruntled Congress MLAs in Karnataka continue to mount pressure on party

Ignoring the patch-up efforts by the leadership to end disquiet within Karnataka Congress over denial of ministerial berths, disgruntled legislators continued to mount pressure on the party to address their grievances.

In an attempt to quell the brewing discontent, Patil, who has emerged as leader of a group of dissident MLAs, was recently called to Delhi where he met Congress President Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)

Ignoring the patch-up efforts by the leadership to end disquiet within Karnataka Congress over denial of ministerial berths,disgruntled legislators continued to mount pressure on the party to address their grievances. According to party sources, some Congress MLAs are likely to meet tomorrow under the leadership of senior legislator and former minister M B Patil to discuss their further course of action. They are also likely to demand a second round of cabinet expansion soon. Discontent within the Congress had surfaced soon after the June 6 cabinet expansion, with disgruntled MLAs holding separate meetings and openly expressing displeasure over being left out of the ministry.

In an attempt to quell the brewing discontent, Patil, who has emerged as leader of a group of dissident MLAs, was recently called to Delhi where he met Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Also, AICC secretaries Manickam Tagore and Vishnunath in the last two days met several party MLAs, who have been holding meetings under the leadership of another senior Congress leader and former minister H K Patil, and have heard their grievances.

Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal, who is in the city today to attend Congress-JD(S) coalition Coordination and Monitoring Committee meeting, met many upset MLAs,including H K Patil, Tanveer Sait and Shivalli, among others, in an effort to pacify them. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, H KPatil said Venugopal has assured him a meeting with Rahul Gandhi.

To a query, he said “whatever responsibility the party gives me, recognising me as an honest party worker, I’m ready to take it up. I believe that our high command and people of the state know my ability,” he added. Stating that the party has ignored providing a leadership to Muslims, Sait, a former minister after meeting Venugopal, expressed unhappiness over Congress giving ministership to other Muslim MLAs U T Khader and Zameer Ahmed Khan and questioned their ability in providing leadership to the community.

He also alleged that Khan, who joined Congress from JD(S) ahead of the May 12 assembly polls, had conspired against him during the state assembly elections. Pointing out that there are several senior and experienced people with potential in Congress to become ministers, Venugopal, who met several disgruntled MLAs, said there are only 22 posts for Congress in the coalition ministry.

“We have limitations,we have difficulties…definitely we will discuss with the leaders concerned and will find a solution very soon,” he said. Venugopal said that after six months there would be a thorough assessment and review of performance of ministers, based on which ministers may be changed.

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