The allocation of Karnataka cabinet berths and portfolio assignments has barely settled, but the Congress party now finds itself embroiled in a fresh power struggle concerning the appointment of heads for various Boards and Corporations.
The focal point of contention lies in the chairmanship of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), a highly coveted position that has sparked intense lobbying and demands from ministerial aspirants who were overlooked. Notable contenders such as T B Jayachandra, N A Haris, and Priyakrishna have emerged, all vying for the influential role.
T B Jayachandra, a prominent MLA from Sira in the Tumakuru district, wasted no time in expressing his desire to be appointed as the Chairman of the BDA. Despite his fervent lobbying, Jayachandra missed out on a ministerial position. To compensate for this setback, sources claimed that Jayachandra met Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Sunday and demanded the crucial post.
Aware of the challenges that lie ahead, Jayachandra has also put forth a request for the post of Special Representative of the Government of Karnataka to the Union Government, a cabinet-rank position aimed at bridging the gap between the state and the Centre. Notably, Jayachandra faces stiff competition from other MLAs hailing from Bengaluru, who also have their sights set on the chairmanship of BDA. Among them is N A Haris, the MLA from Shanthinagar, who has expressed his keen interest in assuming the role of the BDA Chairman.
Priyakrishna, representing the Govindarajanagar constituency, is another MLA lobbying for the position. It is worth mentioning that his father, M Krishnappa, a Congress MLA from Vijayanagar, was also an aspirant for a ministerial post. Denied that opportunity, Krishnappa is said to be leveraging his influence to secure the chairmanship for his son.
Additionally, Rizwan Arshad, the Congress MLA from Shivajinagar and a prominent Muslim leader is exerting pressure on party leaders to be considered for the BDA Chairman’s post.
To address the discontent arising from the denial of ministerial berths, the Congress party is expected to initiate the appointment of heads for various Boards and Corporations in June, with the aim of appeasing the MLAs affected by the cabinet formation.
During the previous government, the position of BDA Chairman was held by S R Vishwanath, the BJP leader, and MLA from Yelahanka. The Bangalore Development Authority has faced significant criticism in recent times, with numerous activists denouncing it as a hotbed of corruption. Earlier this year, the Lokayukta conducted raids on the BDA office following complaints of corruption.
As the Congress party navigates this internal struggle for key appointments, it remains to be seen how the party leadership will balance the aspirations of its members while also addressing the need for transparency and accountability within the BDA.
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