BS Yediyurappa expanded his cabinet last Tuesday, inducting 17 Ministers.
Having a tightrope to walk by pacifying disgruntled MLAs who missed out on cabinet berth, coupled with allocation of portfolios to new ministers, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday decided to consult BJP central leadership to deal with the situation.
Some disqualified former legislators of the Congress and JDS who helped bring down the coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy reportedly are piling pressure on Mr Yediyurappa, seeking their pound of flesh and plum portfolios.
“Today evening I will go to Delhi and meet our national President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will come back tomorrow evening or the day after morning,” Mr Yediyurappa said.
Asked whether the allocation of portfolios would take place after his return from Delhi, Mr Yediyurappa said: “Today we will discuss and take a decision.”
More than three weeks after he was sworn in as the Chief Minister, Mr Yediyurappa expanded his cabinet last Tuesday, inducting 17 Ministers.
Though the expansion brought an end to the nearly month long wait for the cabinet to take shape, it led to some heartburn in a section of the party as several MLAs continued to make no secret of their displeasure after missing the bus.
With several MLAs openly expressing displeasure over being left out, Mr Yediyurappa has been making attempts to douse the embers, by reaching out to them.
The Chief Minister on Thursday too tried to pacify miffed legislators including Sullia MLA Angara S, even as the Bunt community threatened protest citing lack of representation in the ministry, and Bovi community members staged protest in front of his residence seeking induction of a minister from their community.
Even as attempts are on to pacify sulking MLAs, a phone conversation between eight time Hukkeri MLA Umesh Katti, around whom several disgruntled MLAs are reportedly rallying, with Congress legislator party leader Siddaramaiah led to speculation about the former’s next political move.
Speaking to a news channel, Mr Katti confirmed his talk with Siddarmaiah last night, but ruled out joining the Congress and clarified that he was with BJP.
“He (Siddaramaiah) called me last night and addressed me as minister, I told him I’m not minister to which he said he was aware of it and hence called. He is my good friend…I may meet whenever we are both are in Bengaluru. But, I’m not joining Congress leaving BJP, I’m 100 per cent in BJP,” he added.
Mr Yediyurappa has kept 16 ministerial posts vacant to accommodate some more BJP members and from among those 17 disqualified former legislators who helped him come to power.
However, the disqualified MLAs seeking plum portfolios is said to be causing delay in the allocation of portfolios for the new ministers, despite rooms being allotted to them at Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat.
Reflecting the situation by stating that this government too was a coalition government in a way, Minister V Somanan in response to a question about S A Ramdas not being made minister, in Mysuru said, “Now 17 of us have become ministers, still 16 berths are remaining.
When filling those 16 positions who all have to be considered that our state and national leaders will decide,” he added.
Meanwhile, several disqualified MLAs, including Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatahalli, ST Somashekar, Byrati Basavaraj, AH Vishwanath are in Delhi amid reports that they had expressed keenness to meet BJP’s central leadership on their political future.
Taking a dig at disqualified Congress legislators, Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao said Yediyurappa should make at least one of them Deputy Chief Minister for their “sacrifice.”
“Let them be satisfied soon by giving Deputy Chief Minister and other key portfolios in the government for their efforts in bringing down the coalition government. They have to get reward for it. At least one one of them should be made DCM, as Yediyurappa is CM because of them,” he said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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