Disgruntlement is brewing in the Janata Dal-Secular as two senior ministers from the party are said to be miffed over the portfolios allotted to them following the recent cabinet expansion.
JD-S sources said G T Deve Gowda, who has been allotted higher education, and C S Puttaraju, who got minor irrigation in the portfolio allocation on Friday, are unhappy about their ministries.
G T Deve Gowda, who emerged as a giant killer, defeating former chief minister Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru in the May 12 assembly polls, and Puttaraju, who vacated his Lok Sabha seat and won the Melukote assembly segment, were eyeing key portfolios, including transport.
D C Thammanna, a relative of JD-S supremo H D Deve Gowda, being given the transport department is also said to be one of the reasons for their discontent.
Meanwhile, supporters of both the ministers held protests in Mysuru and Mandya, the districts they hail from, demanding key portfolios for their leaders.
Reacting to the issue, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said he has seen reports about such disgruntlement only in the media and no one has expressed their dissatisfaction with him personally.
"Some people will have wish to work in certain departments, but in every department there is opportunity to work efficiently. We have to work efficiently.
"Can everyone be given the portfolio they wish for?" the chief minister asked, adding, "is there a better department than higher education and minor irrigation to work?"
On reported comments by G T Deve Gowda about him being given higher education, when he was just studied till eighth standard, the chief minister said, "What have I studied? I'm working as the chief minister."
"Should I give Finance?"....there will be demand for certain ministries, but certain decisions are made internally in the party," he told reporters here, adding that such wishes of becoming a minister first and then wanting certain specific portfolios are common.
Kumaraswamy had last night allocated portfolios after a hard bargain between the coalition partners.
The portfolio allocation has been made in line with the power sharing agreement.
The development in the JD-S has come even as dissident activities of the MLAs intensified in the Congress over not getting ministerial berths.
Rahul meets disgruntled Karnataka MLAs, but no solution yet
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday met disgruntled Karnataka MLAs led by M B Patil in the national capital but the talks remained inconclusive.
After the meeting, Patil said the next plan of action will be decided after discussions with he 15-20 MLAs, who are unhappy with the Cabinet expansion.
He, however, asserted that he has no plans to quit the Congress.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president Dinesh Gundu Rao, new cabinet minister Krishna Byre Gowda were present in the meeting.
"We are trying to resolve the differences. The process is on at the moment. No decision has been taken yet," Gowda said after the meeting.
The consultations are still going on with state leaders, he added.
Patil, who campaigned for a minority status for the Lingayats, is a prominent state Congress leader.
Under his leadership a section of dissatisfied legislators have held several meetings last week.
After meeting the Congress president, Patil said: "I shared my views with Rahul Gandhi and explained the state's situation. I have not demanded anything."
He said, "I am not alone, many friends are together with me. I will share with them what happened in the meeting and then decide next plan of action."
Patil, a former irrigation minister and an MLA from Vijayapura district, said he has no plans to quit the party.
"The BJP has not approached me nor I have got in touch with the saffron party. My fight is within the Congress," he said.
He also mentioned that he was not in the race for the KPCC President post and did not make that demand in the meeting.
The JDS-Congress cabinet was expanded on June 6 with the induction of 25 new ministers, after intense bargaining for ministerial berths.
The much-awaited exercise has caused heartburn among several lawmakers in the coalition while supporters of some of the ministerial aspirants staged protests.
Besides M B Patil and Dinesh Gundu Rao, the Congress has dropped several key members of the previous Siddaramaiah ministry, including Ramalinga Reddy, R Roshan Baig, H K Patil, Tanvir Sait, Shamanur Sivashankarappaand, Satish Jarkhiholi, from the coalition government.