With Karnataka Chief Minister-designate Siddaramaiah all set to install his Cabinet next week, lobbying for ministerial berths has intensified.
Siddaramaiah is slated to be sworn in alone by Governor H R Bhardwaj at 11.50 am on Monday at a ceremony at Sri Kanteerava Stadium.
Unlike previous occasions when such functions were held in Glass House of Raj Bhavan which restricted participation due to security and space constraints, the venue this time is seen as an attempt by the incoming Congress government to make it a big show and accommodate a large number of people.
Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G Parameshwara said Saturday both of them, along with Congress General Secretary in-charge of state Madhusudan Mistri, would finalise the probables for Cabinet berths after the nod of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Siddaramaiah called on Parameshwara, who lost in Koratagere segment in the May 5 assembly elections, and it was termed by the latter as a "cordial and courtesy visit".
The shock defeat of Parameshwara, one of the key contenders for the chief minister's post, has given rise to conspiracy theories in a section of the Congress that his fall was orchestrated by some forces within the party.
There is already talk that Parameshwara, who is in the good books of the Congress central leadership which acknowledged his role in Congress storming to power in the state, might be made an MLC and is likely to get a key portfolio.
Senior party leaders, including D K Shivakumar, R V Deshpande, Shamanur Shivashankarappa and T B Jayachandra who were among aspirants for chief ministership, are likely to get plum ministries in the Cabinet, according to party sources.
Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah called on acclaimed litterateurs U R Ananthamurthy, Chandrashekhara Kambara and G S Shivarudrappa.
Siddaramaiah's residence was also flooded with supporters and well-wishers, a day after he was elected CLP leader.
Among those who came and personally wished him were Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Ashok Kheny, who won the assembly poll from Bidar South as a candidate of Karnataka Makkala Paksha and leader of Karnataka Janatha Paksha V Dhananjaya Kumar.
Image: Vidhan Soudha in Bangalore
PhotographL: Rediff archives