Despite a pretty poor show by the congress in karnatka in the recent (15) lok sabha elections, karnataka has managed to bag 4 ministerial berths out of which three are cabinet berths.
On the other hand, in the state of uttar pradesh, though the congress has done relatively well, not a single cabinet berth has been given to the state. So is the case of AP where apart from Jaipal reddy, no other candidate has been given a cabinet post.
Karnataka was never represented well in the union cabinet (and also in the central bureaucracy).There was no cabinet representation from the state in the previous UPA government. Karnataka had only one cabinet minister in the NDA government between 98 and 2004, but had managed to carve out two plum posts of HRD(S.R.Bommai) and civil aviation (C.M.Ibrahim) apart from the PM post in the united front government.
So what has brought such good fortunes to Karnataka or rather the 4 ministers from karnataka? It is the poor show of the congress in the last years's assembly elections and this years lok sabha elections. Congress has seen their share of votes slowly taken away by BJP. In the recent Lok sabha elections, BJP has managed to win double the number of seats than congress and JD(s) combined.
Allocation of 4 ministerial berths including the prestigious external affairs ministry to the senior leader S.M.Krishna is a long term strategy of the congress managers to regain their position in karnataka. It is to please the state voters. It is a long term measure of the congress bosses to make these ministries influence state politics and electoral dynamics to swing the bastion back to their favour.
In all probability, the existing portfolios is not likely to remain for long. Though Mr Moily may continue in the law ministry for full 5 years, it is unlikely that S.M.Krishna and Mr. Mallikarjuna Kharge will remain at respective positions for long. After a couple of years, there may be a shuffle in the ministries wherein S.M.Krishna and Kharge may occupy positions which have more power to influence state politics. It will not be surprising if S.M.Krishna takes over Commerce and industries (or even finance) and Kharge the urban or rural development mnistries after 2 or 3 years. These ministries have more power to influence state elections.
Defnitely 4 leaders from karnataka gained because of the poor show of congress in the state. But who were the prominent losers. To my mind it was the charismatic Salmaan khursheed. He definitely deserved a cabinet post. He had the relevant experience and knowledge to head either the commerce or external affairs ministry. If not anything, at least he had the calibre, experience and expertise over Mallikarguna Kharge to be in the cabinet rank.
But this is how democratic politics works and its also good for the society in a certain way. As Mr Khursheed himself candidly put in one of the television shows that in democratic politics , "Merit is not everything".