BENGALURU: As part of a damage control exercise, CM Siddaramaiah today held a breakfast meeting with Deputy CM DK Shivakumar and other cabinet colleagues, following recent public statements issued by several Congress functionaries, including Siddaramaiah himself, on the CM’s tenure and a likely change of guard at the helm, causing much embarrassment to the party .
At Saturday’s breakfast held at ‘Cauvery’, the CM’s residence, Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar were seen cheering and greeting each other in an apparent bid to end speculation of simmering tension between them over political one-upmanship .
Reinforcing the silence imposed on functionaries, it was decided that no one – not even Siddaramaiah or Shivakumar – should make any statement regarding the functioning of the party and the government, including the issue of a change in leadership after two and a half years. years.
Although the Congress claimed that the meeting was held to receive feedback from ministers, appointed as observers for various Lok Sabha seats, to identify potential candidates, party members said the high command had been criticized following recent public statements by a section of party functionaries on the leadership issue in Karnataka has led the CM and his ministers to put on a show of unity. While 13 ministers attended the meeting, senior members of the HK cabinet Patil and Satish Jarkiholi were conspicuous by their absence. “We had invited only 15 ministers to the meeting.
Patil and Satish were not present as they were in their constituencies,” Shivakumar, who is also KPCC president, said. While Siddaramaiah asked Shivakumar to ceremoniously inaugurate a new meeting hall at the CM’s residence, the deputy CM ensured that all ministers, including G Parameshwara, MB Patil and KN Rajannawere by his side when he cut the ribbon.
“No one, including the CM or me, should speak to the media on party issues and play into their hands. The CM himself has given this instruction,” Shivakumar told reporters after the meeting. “I want to say to our deputies: do not spoil your future and that of the party by making unnecessary statements,” he added. As of now, the party should focus on implementing the five guarantees issued by the Congress party in Karnataka and the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, DKS said further. “We had appointed ministers as observers to identify three potential candidates for each LS seat.
While most of them have given names, three or four ministers have not yet completed their task. We gave them a deadline of one week because we want to have the voters’ opinion on the shortlisted names,” he added. Clarifying the delays in the implementation of the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, Shivakumar said that due to technical reasons, 10 per cent of the beneficiaries have not yet availed the benefits of the scheme, while the other safeguards are working well.