Hindustan Times
Arun Dev

Despite being considered only second to the CM’s post, no senior leaders are keen on handling the police department, while portfolios like irrigation, power and revenue are in most demand

Despite being considered only second to the CM’s post, no senior leaders are keen on handling the police department, while portfolios like irrigation, power and revenue are in most demand.

People know of the matter said, even as the Karnataka chief minister and deputy chief minister asked the police department to crack down on those disturbing the harmony in the state, the post of the home department remains a position without any takers.

“When the BJP came to power and when Basavaraj Bommai was offered the post, he had then CM Yediyurappa if he had done anything wrong. That is the perception of the department,” said a senior police officer talking about the department.

A combination of lack of real power, the pressure of the department and the removal of certain important duties from the powers of the post are said to be the reason for the same. “First of all, intelligence department remains with the chief minister and the home minister is left with law-and-order issues. When it comes to police transfers the decision is taken by the chief minister and not the home minister,” said a senior leader who served as home minister in the past.

An ADGP rank officer said that in the previous two governments, home department has been in the news for the wrong, after the office of the chief minister. “The minister doesn’t get a say in transfers and being the face of any of the issues in law and order is considered a thankless job by politicians,” said the officer.

While there were talks on DK Shivakumar getting the home department among the group of portfolios he will hold as per the discussion with the high command, however, it is said that the party is also looking for other candidates for the post.

MB Patil, KJ George and Ramalinga Reddy have held the post in the past, however, KPCC officials said that the leaders have not shown their interest in the post. KJ George and Ramalinga Reddy have expressed their interest in Bangalore’s development, while MB Patil is keen on the irrigation department, said leaders in the know. Parameswara continues to be the first option for the party to give the post.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah and nine ministers were sworn-in on Saturday in Bengaluru. The other ministers are- G Parameshwara, MB Patil, KH Muniyappa, KJ George, Satish Jarkiholi, Ramalinga Reddy and BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan.

The decision on the cabinet expansion will be taken after the ongoing Karnataka assembly said senior Congress officials, who added that chief minister Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar will head back to Delhi to meet the central leaders on the deciding the cabinet.

Meanwhile, the association for democratic reforms (ADR) said that all nine ministers in the 2023 Karnataka cabinet have declared criminal cases against themselves.

“The average assets of 9 ministers analysed is 229.27 crore. The minister with the highest declared total assets is DK Shivakumar from Kanakapura constituency with assets worth 1413.80 crore. The minister with the lowest declared total assets is Priyank Kharge from Chittapur (SC) constituency with assets worth 16.83 crore. All 9 ministers have declared liabilities out of which the minister with the highest liabilities is DK Shivakumar of Kanakapura constituency with 265.06 crores of liabilities,” the ADR report said.

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