For Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy managing alliance partner Congress looks easier than handling his elder brother H D Revanna.
Revanna, who is senior to Kumaraswamy even in politics, is known as the favourite child of his father and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.
Gowda convinced Congress president Rahul Gandhi to part with both public works department (PWD) and power portfolios much against the wishes of state Congress leaders, including crisis manager D K Shivakumar.
Kumaraswamy himself was not happy with this arm-twisting by his father, claim the CM’s close aides.
PWD and power are the favourite portfolios of Revanna. He had held the same ministries during the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka between 2004 and 2006 and again under the JD(S)-BJP coalition led by Kumaraswamy between 2006 and 2007.
This time too he forced his father to get him both the portfolios. Deve Gowda deftly managed to get the job done for his favourite son who is a five-time MLA from Holenarasipura in Hassan district. Deve Gowda had won six times from the same seat between 1962 and 1989.
Congress, the main partner in the alliance, is upset over Rahul Gandhi ceding both PWD and power to the JD(S). Shivakumar who had held power portfolio in the Siddaramaiah government has made his displeasure public.
Speaking to News18, he said, “Revanna is a big leader. I am not. I won’t comment on him. The party has given me the job of a watchman. I am happy with it”.
His close associates claim that Shivakumar who had held the Congress flock together before the trust vote is now asking for a meaty portfolio, either Bengaluru Development or Water Resources.
He has also agreed to head the state Congress only if he is allowed to be a member of the state Cabinet.
Revanna eyeing two heavy and lucrative portfolios has angered even his own fellow JD(S) MLAs from Hassan district.
According to reports, Revanna has told his father and brother not to make any other JD(S) MLA from Hassan a minister in the government.
Senior JD(S) MLA from neighbouring KR Nagara in Mysore, Sa Ra Mahesh has told the media that Revanna should not get both PWD and power portfolios.
According to local JDS leaders, Revanna’s wife Bhavani Revanna had tried to get him defeated in the recent elections and he is making such statements at the behest of Kumaraswamy.
Revanna’s son Prajwal Revanna is angry with his uncle Kumaraswamy for denying him an Assembly ticket in the recent elections and both Prajwal and his mother were not at home when Kumaraswamy visited their house at Holenarasipura recently.
An old associate of Gowda said, “Not all is well in the family. Deve Gowda is trying hard to hold them together. The women and grandchildren can ruin the perfect arrangement Gowda clinched with the Congress”.
Revanna is worried that his younger brother may promote his cinestar son Nikhil Kumar over his son Prajwal. Sensing trouble grandfather Gowda has offered his own Hassan Lok Sabha seat to Prajwal in 2019 to defuse family tensions.
If Kumaraswamy offers both PWD and power to Revanna, it may lead to a lot of tensions between the Congress and the JD(S) and also in the Gowda household.
But he is not in a position to go against the father who still controls the party.
The Karnataka cabinet will be expanded on Wednesday. According to power-sharing arrangements, the JD(S) has got 12 portfolios and the Congress 22.