New panel to draft common minimum programme in Karnataka

siddu-cordination-committee The first meeting of the coordination committee, headed by former chief minister Siddaramaiah, was held in Bengaluru

A five-member committee will draft the common minimum programme of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka within the next 10 days.

The first meeting of the coordination committee, headed by former chief minister Siddaramaiah, held in Bengaluru on Thursday, decided to form a new panel to examine the poll manifestos of both the coalition partners to evolve a common programme.

"We had designed a manifesto for five years. Likewise, the JD(S) too had it's own manifesto. But with a coalition government in place, the new panel, comprising three Congress and two JD(S) members, will draft a common manifesto," said Siddaramaiah. “The popular schemes of the previous Congress government will continue, and new programmes of the coalition government will be announced soon," he added.

The draft needs to be approved by the coordination committee, comprising Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal and JD(S) national general secretary Danish Ali.

The coalition, which is still grappling with rebellion that followed the cabinet expansion, is hoping to quell dissent by offering the disgruntled MLAs chief posts in the boards and corporations.

Senior leaders Shamanuru Shivashankarappa, M.B. Patil, H.K. Patil, Tanveer Sait and K. Sudhakar have been openly voicing their discontent over their exclusion from the cabinet.

"Both Zameer Ahmed Khan and U.T. Khader are not capable enough to be considered as leaders who can represent the Muslims in the state. In fact, Zameer tried to defeat me. Sadly, the Congress party has rewarded them by making them ministers," alleged Narasimharaja MLA Sait.

Similarly, Chikkaballapur MLA Sudhakar warned the central leadership saying the party needed young leaders to fight the 2019 Parliament polls, and expressed his concern over the party sidelining good leaders, while inducting the kith and kin of senior leaders into the cabinet. Like Babaleshwar MLA M.B. Patil (who had led the Lingayat movement), Sudhakar too has been holding meetings of disgruntled MLAs to oppose the party's "arbitrary" decision of choosing the ministers. Not to be left behind, MLC H.M. Revanna too slammed the party's move to induct MLC Jayamala into the cabinet as she will now be the floor leader in the upper house as well.

The appointment to the 82 odd statutory boards and corporations, which is expected to be completed in a week, might help in pacifying some MLAs. In the first phase, 30 MLAs will be appointed as chairpersons of various boards and corporations. As per the June 1 agreement, the JD(S) will get one-third share of the total number of posts.

The state Congress leaders are likely to meet the party high command on June 18 to discuss about filling the remaining six cabinet berths.

The state government is yet to announce the much-hyped farm loan waiver and appoint district in-charge ministers.