BENGALURU: The unceremonious exit of former excise minister H Y Meti has unsettled the Congress government caste combination in the state. Four months ago, Meti’s sole reason for being inducted into the cabinet was because of his Kuruba identity that meant two members in the Congress government from the third biggest community in the state. reports Times of India.
But with his exit, the vacancy in the 34 member congress government has given a slight ray of hope for community and caste leaders vying for a ministerial berth. MLC H M Revanna, who also hails from the Kuruba community, believes that the vacant berth cannot go to any other community barring his and the CM’s own.It is being said the government may also consider more influential legislators with muscle and money power to strengthen the party one and half years away from the assembly polls.
OutSide Chance for Qamarul Islam
And if the Second consideration of a Non-Kuruba is taken seriously, then the first aspirant who can re-enter the Cabinet given his seniority and influence is Dr Qamar Ul Islam. He was among the two leaders who led the rebellion that shook congress and made them budge. That meeting was infact held at the Residence of Dr Qamar ul Islam , At the time he was convinced of the re-entry in the Cabinet. Later in the Distribution of Boards and Corporations list his loyalists were completely left out.
The mood in his supporters is, therefore elated as many expect him to replace the MY Meti. They However acknowledge that its is an outside Chance given that Siddaramaiyah is the only Kuruba minister remaining in the State Cabinet, although he heads it.
Growing National Stature
Meanwhile, Qamar-ul-Islam have been able to expand his support base more than ever, the Sympathy wave that was created by his exit undid any anti-incumbency factor that rose up in 3 years. As a minister, he was inaccessible to Gulbarga for a Large time, which made his support base erode, which once again came back when Qamar-ul Islam personally led the reconstruction efforts of his base. He is once again accessible and more visible to the people in the City.
A few months ago, when he was dropped from his State Cabinet, many were quick to call it the end of the road for his political career but he has bounced back more powerfully as he has been able to expand his footprints both in state and National level. Something which his opponents (in and out of the Party) didn’t expect. He managed to revive All India Milli Council in South, Was made a Member of prestigious and Apex body of Muslims the All India Muslim personal law board member and was awarded prestigious Mohsin e Millat in Aligarh.
Kuruba Community legislators lead the race
“We are all aspirants and will certainly seek for the ministerial berth. I am in Belagavi looking into the arrangements for our AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi’s programme and will call upon the CM at a later date. But I firmly believe that the vacant post must go to a Kuruba community member,” said Revanna.
Along with Revanna being the frontrunner, others in the mix include a fresh name of Hosadurga MLA B G Govindappa and Badami MLA Chimmanakatti Balappa Bhimappa. There is also Siddaramaiah’s vocal supporter and MLC V S Ugrappa who may have an outside chance.
However, the combination may also work upon the regional diaspora, with Meti being from north Karnataka and Siddaramaiah may consider someone from that part of the state as well.With Bengaluru having five ministers in the Cabinet and Mysuru with three representation, it is anybody’s guess as to the CM’s choice being narrowed down to coastal and northern parts of the state.
No Decision Till State Budget
While these may be considerations on the community and regional basis, there may be a no holds bar with several other aspirants who were denied a chance to enter the government also giving one last push before the 2018 assembly polls.
As of now, sources in the Congress party suggest that Siddaramaiah may keep the slot vacant and hold on to the excise department till the state budget in March 2017. “The Congress is yet to bounce back from his scandal. As of now, it is a possibility, that Siddaramaiah may hold on to the portfolio till the budget session and then consider a replacement for Meti,” said a party leader.