Minutes After BSY Cabinet’s Swearing-in, Murmurs of Protest in BJP as High Command Stamps Dominance
Senior BJP MLA from Chitradurga, GH Thippareddy, was the first to fire a shot. He said his seniority has been overlooked and said all ‘likeminded’ MLAs would soon meet in Bengaluru to put pressure on Yediyurappa
Bengaluru: Almost a month after coming to power, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa inducted 17 ministers into his Cabinet on Tuesday. The Cabinet list has the BJP high command’s stamp all over it and many of Yediyurappa loyalists have been left out, leading to murmurs of protests.
At least a dozen ministerial aspirants, including some big guns, stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony at the Raj Bhawan. Some of them have openly expressed their displeasure over not being given a chance.
Senior BJP MLA from Chitradurga, GH Thippareddy, was the first to fire a shot. He said his seniority has been overlooked. He told mediapersons that all “likeminded” MLAs would soon meet in Bengaluru to put pressure on Yediyurappa and BJP high command to accommodate them too.
His angry supporters set vehicle tires on fire in Chitradurga, shouting slogans against the party leadership for ignoring their leader.
The six-time MLA and Dalit leader got emotional as he spoke to reporters and said his belief in party ideology and principles had not been respected by the leadership. However, he clarified that he was not going to indulge in any “anti-party or dissident activities”.
Another MLA, Goolihatti Shekhar, was vocal about the “injustice meted out to him and others”. He said his district had been neglected by the party leaders. One more MLA, Ramappa Lamani, has attacked Yediyurappa for not inducting him into the Cabinet.
Surprisingly some heavyweights close to Yediyurappa like Umesh Katti, Murugesh Nirani, Balachandra Jarkhiholi, Basangouda Patil Yatnal, KG Bopaiah, SR Vishwanath and Aravind Limbavali have not been made ministers.
For the first time in 15 years, no one from Jarkhiholi family has been made a minister, despite the fact that the Jarkhiholi revolt had led to the collapse of HD Kumaraswamy led JDS-Congress government. But, Lakshman Savadi, also from the same Belgaum district and who has lost his own Assembly seat, has been made a minister instead.
Senior BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali, who was eyeing deputy chief minister’s post, has also been kept out, leading to speculation that he might be appointed the BJP state president.
Important districts in the old Mysore region – Mysore, Kodagu, Chamarajanagara, Mandya, Hassan, Bengaluru Rural and Chickballapura – have got no representation in the first round.
The total strength of Karnataka Cabinet is 34 and 16 berths are still vacant after Tuesday’s inductions. Some of these disgruntled legislators are hoping that they may get a chance when the Cabinet is expanded.
But the 17 disqualified MLAs may pour cold water over their dreams. According to insiders, Yediyurappa has promised ministerial berths to 12 of them for their help in toppling the HDK government.
Since they have gone to the Supreme Court challenging their disqualification by Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, Yediyurappa may have to wait till the SC decides their case.
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