Did not seek post when I met Rahul Gandhi: Karnataka Congress MLA M B Patil

BENGALURU: Disgruntled Congress leader M B Patil today rubbished reports that he had sought a post during his meeting with AICC president Rahul Gandhi and said he had only apprised him of his sentiments and the prevailing situation in Karnataka.

Patil’s remarks came even as former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asserted there was no dissidence in the party and he had spoken to MLAs upset over not getting ministerial berths and that all problems had been sorted out.

“I did not demand any position of either deputy chief minister, minister or KPCC president. I only conveyed my sentiments and the prevailing situation in Karnataka. Whatever I have said is between me and him,” Patil told reporters here on his return from Delhi.

After meeting Gandhi, Patil had yesterday said in Delhi that the next plan of action would be decided after discussions with 15-20 MLAs, who were unahppy with cabinet expansion.

“I have already told you that I am not a second-class citizen. I am happy as an MLA and have no plans to leave the party, which has made me a legislator and it has more power than anything else.

Speaking to reporters at Neelagunda village in Bagalkote district, Siddaramaiah said, “The term of ministers is for two years. After that we will give chance to other eligible people. All problems had been sorted out,” he added.

With regard to the appointment of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, he said he has not recommended anybody’s name and would speak up only when Gandhi sought his opinion.

He also ruled out the possibility of creating another post of Deputy Chief Minister.

Ever since the Congress-JDS coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy was sworn in on June 6, there has been growing dissidence in the Congress over not getting cabinet berths.

The dissidents, especially party leaders M B Patil and Satish Jarkiholi, have expressed disappointment over not being given ministerial berths.

Under the power-sharing agreement, the Congress has been allotted 22 berths and JDS 12.

The JDS-Congress cabinet was expanded on June 6 with the induction of 25 new ministers, after intense bargaining for ministerial berths.

The Congress has left six vacancies to be filled under its quota and the JDS, one.

Earlier in the day, Congress floor leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge had said he would talk to Rahul Gandhi on filling the remaining six berths allocated to the party in the government to prevent dissident activity.

M B Patil later in the day met BJP Raichur MLA from Raichur Dr Shivaraj Patil at his residence here, triggering another round of speculation.

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