Cong. legislators seek better share of power in coalition

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting here on Tuesday saw top leaders urging the legislators to stay united and unwavering, while the MLAs spoke of the troubles they were facing in a coalition arrangement. This, according to sources, led to some stormy moments in the meeting held at a hotel here.

The main issues raised by the legislators were “transfer of officials, unnecessary interference, lack of cooperation, issues on inter-ministerial schemes, and non-release of funds for ongoing projects,” according to a leader who attended the meeting.

Barring two — Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar and Shivajinagar MLA R. Roshan Baig — it was full attendance at the meeting. The two, sources said, had taken prior permission to stay away due to prior occupations. Those who had raised a banner of revolt against the party leadership also turned up at the meeting, including the Jarkiholi brothers (Ramesh and Satish), K. Sudhakar, Chickballapur MLA, and M.T.B. Nagaraj, Hoskote MLA.

S.T. Somashekar, Yeshwantpur MLA, is said to have expressed anger and displeasure over how Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has been favouring only those from Ramanagaram constituency. He was especially upset about permission for mining being given to a firm from Ramanagaram although there were other competent agencies who had applied.

He is also learnt to have complained that there was favouritism even in the release of funds for taking up constituency development works. Mr. Somashekar said that there were “different rules for JD(S) and Congress legislators” and urged leaders to solve the problems, failing which they will be forced to “show their might”.

Some legislators also expressed their ire against Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara. Byrathi Suresh, Hebbal MLA, is learnt to have said that although he represents the Congress in the coalition government, the Deputy Chief Minister is not doing anything to protect the party legislators’ interests. Even in constituencies represented by Congress MLAs, JD(S) has its say, all the way down to local police stations too, he is learnt to have said. Responding, Mr. Parameshwara is said to have assured the legislators that he was not aware of these issues.

CLP leader Siddaramaiah exhorted the legislators to stay united shunning all attempts by BJP to lure them. He urged them not to “fall prey to the BJP’s luring tactics and take any decisions in haste”, and promised that the party will recognise everyone appropriately.

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