Several MLAs, at a Karnataka Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting here, claimed that the attitude of ministers was causing fissures within the party and was the main reason behind the poor showing in the Lok Sabha polls.
The meeting degenerated into a shouting match on Wednesday as some MLAs alleged that they have to hire touts to approach ministers.
BR Yavagal, MLA from Nargund in Gadag district, praised the Gujarat model of development effusively.
“He too seems to have become a victim of the BJP’s extreme marketing,” said an embarrassed MLA Priyank Kharge, whose father Mallikarjun Kharge attacked the Gujarat model during his recent speech in Parliament.
The scenes at the meeting are being seen as symptoms of a deeper power struggle within the ruling party ahead of an impending cabinet reshuffle.
Issues such as the denial of a Rajya Sabha ticket to SM Krishna, the recent revolt by reserve police personnel in Bengaluru, the garbage management crisis and the failure of the state government in the Cauvery water sharing dispute have only added talking points for dissenters and ministerial aspirants within the party.
KPCC president G Parameshwara, widely perceived as the leader of the anti-Siddaramaiah group, openly declared that he is an aspirant for the deputy CM’s post.
In a bid to contain dissidents, Siddaramaiah is pushing five Congress leaders into the council.
However, their nomination has already been opposed by the BJP, accusing the ruling party of nominating active politicians instead of eminent personalities as stipulated in article 171 of the Constitution.
Matters will only deteriorate for the CM in the event the governor returns the ruling party’s list of nominees with remarks.