Bengaluru, Feb 26: Amid reports about growing discontent among JD(S) legislators and workers about party not empowering them, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has appointed nine partymen as heads to state run boards and corporations with cabinet rank.
The move ahead of announcement of the Lok Sabha poll schedule is seen as an attempt by the JD(S) to quell dissidence within, and to arrest any bid by the BJP to poach its legislators.
Among nine appointed, eight are MLAs.
The JD(S) move comes more than a month after appointment of Congressmen to the posts that came under its share as per coalition arrangement.
Those appointed includeMLAs– Naganagouda Kandkur to Karnataka Slum Development Board, Raja Venkatappa Nayaka to Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation,D C Gowri Shankar to Mysore Sales International Limited and B Satyanarayana to Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation;
Legislators- Nisarga Narayanaswamy L N to Bangalore International Airport Area Planning Authority, K Annadani to Devaraj Urs Backward Classes Development Corporation, K M Shivalinge Gowda to Karnataka Housing Board, K Mahadev to Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation.
JD(S) national general secretary Muhammad Zafrulla Khan has been appointed to the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation.
While senior JD(S) leader from north Karnataka and former MLA N H Konaraddi has been appointed as political secretary to the Chief Minister, MLA Devanand Fulasing Chavan has been made parliamentary secretary to primary and secondary education department held by Kumaraswamy.
The appointments cleared by the chief minister also include, JD(S) MLAs K Srinivasamurthy and M Srinivas as parliamentary secretaries to Animal husbandry and Cooperation ministers respectively and MLC K A Thippeswamy as parliamentary secretary to PWD minister.
It has been a long standing demand within the JD(S) to appoint partymen to key positions in the government, and the chorus gained momentum after the Congress appointed its people to boards and corporations coming under its share in January.
JD(S) has also kept two berths in the cabinet from its share vacant.
According to party sources, the JD(S)leadership decided to appoint partymen and legislators to boards and corporations with an intention to quell any kind of disgruntlement that may emerge ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
Though Kumaraswamy has cleared most names suggested by Congress from its side to boards and corporation, he had put on hold appointment of Doddaballapur MLA T Venkataramanaiah as chairperson of Karnataka Road Development Corporation (KRDCL) and Chikkaballapur MLA K Sudhakar as Karnataka Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) chairperson.
JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy had earlier clarified that Sudhakar’s appointment was opposed as the Supreme Court guidelines had specified a certain qualification for the post.
Venkataramanaiah’s appointment to KRDCL is said to have been opposed by Gowda’s son and PWD Minister Revanna, stating that it came under his department.
However, Venkataramaiah’s name has now been cleared by Kumaraswamy for Karnataka State Forest Industries Corporation Limited, along with another Congress MLA Bheema Naik to Karnataka Thanda Development Corporation.