Bengaluru: The Congress's floor leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge today said he would speak with party president Rahul Gandhi on filling the remaining six ministerial berths allocated to the party in the Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka.
"Let me see. I will discuss with Rahul-ji, if I get to meet him in New Delhi, about considering immediate filling of the remaining six berths allocated to the Congress to prevent dissidence among our ministerial aspirants," he said.
Karnataka Congress leaders MB Patil and Satish Jarkiholi have expressed disappointment over not being made ministers in the coalition government of the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular, headed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
Other Congress leaders in the southern state who have indicated that they were not happy over not being made ministers include Roshan Baig, NA Harris, Ramalinga Reddy and HK Patil.
Under the power-sharing agreement, the Congress has got 22 positions and the JDS 12. The JDS-Congress cabinet was expanded on June 6 with the induction of 25 ministers, after intense bargaining for ministerial slots.
The Congress has left six vacancies to be filled and the JDS one.
"Our high command will discuss with them (senior Congress leaders who were ministers in previous governments) and solve the problem in the next few days. Already, KC Venugopal and Ghulam Nabi Azad are also in touch with them. There is no problem and everything will be solved," Mallikarjun Kharge said.
Mr Kharge said these leaders "are loyalists and have not spoken of deserting the party as they are interested in strengthening, not deserting it".
On whether the Congress is planning a rotational ministerial policy to pacify the legislators, Mr Kharge said it was the idea of the party's working president. "Whatever it may be, in the interest of the party, the leaders and the high command will take appropriate decisions and all party workers will follow suit," he added.
The Congress leader said he was unhappy over the party not getting a majority in the Karnataka assembly election. "By unhappiness I mean we did not get a majority. Had we got it, we would not have formed a coalition government. In coalition, we have to adopt a give and take policy," he said.