Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Saturday slammed the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka over Cabinet expansion at a time, he claimed, people of Tribal communities were being made to “suffer” in the “most inhuman” conditions in the state. “Shocking that members from Dal*** & Tribal communities, were enslaved and made to suffer in the most inhuman conditions, but the Congress-JDS govt is busy with Cabinet expansion! People are watching,” the BJP president tweeted. Shah was referring to the reports claiming 52 people from tribal communities, including women and children, were “enslaved” and forced to work for 19 hours without wages.
Led by HD Kumaraswamy, the Congress-JDS alliance government in Karnataka is likely to carry out the much-anticipated Cabinet expansion on Saturday. According to the sources, two ministers—Ramesh Jarkiholi (Municipal Administration) and R Shankar (Forest and Environment) -- are likely to be excluded from the Kumaraswamy Cabinet.
Karnataka legislators, Satish Jarkiholi, MB Patil, CS Shivalli, MTB Nagaraj, E Tukaram, PT Parameshwar Naik, Rahim Khan and RB Thimmapur would be inducted into the ministry, Congress Legislature Party Leader Siddaramaiah said in a statement.
As per the coalition pact between the Congress and the JDS, six ministerial posts are vacant for the Congress party while the JDS can nominate two more ministers from its quota. This time, only Congress leaders will be given the place in the Cabinet and JDS leaders will have to wait till the next expansion likely to take place after Makar Sankranthi.
Meanwhile, disgruntlement seems to be simmering in the Congress with a few senior aspirants not being considered for the ministerial berth in the Cabinet expansion. Sowmya Reddy, daughter of senior Congress MLA and former Minister Ramalinga Reddy, expressed her discontent for not considering her father for the post. She had also refused to accept the offer of Parliamentary Secretary post.
Another senior party leader and MLA from Hirekerur, BC Patil, also expressed his resentment for not being considered for any ministerial post. Earlier in October, the three-time legislator had said that the Congress was upholding "dictatorship" in the name of the party by dragging the Cabinet expansion in Karnataka.