Loyalists forsaken for govt

Jarkiholi, Asnotikar were inducted to wean them away from Reddys

sitting pretty: Family members of ministers witness the swearing-in ceremony in Bangalore  on Thursday. DH Photo

The names of D N Jeevaraj, C T Ravi, Sogadu Shivanna, M P Kumaraswamy, Chandranna, Basavaraj Patil Attur and Suresh Gowda were doing the rounds as probables.

But, their names were not considered due to various political considerations. Party sources said the Reddys of Bellary, who are crestfallen with their clout not helping them to get into the Cabinet, were making efforts to regroup with Balachandra Jarkiholi, Anand Asnotikar and others who had once rebelled against Yeddyurappa. Sensing the danger, the party seniors decided to induct Jarkiholi and Asnotikar.

Had the Reddys and other disgruntled MLAs realigned, they would have tried to destabilise the Government. Learning this, Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda and State party president K S Eshwarappa rushed to Delhi on Thursday morning and got approval from the central leadership to take up the expansion.

Whatever may be the reasons for inducting the chosen five into the Cabinet, MLAs who have risen through the party ranks are an upset lot. Jeevaraj was disappointed about not making it, though he did not say it no so many words. Soon after Yeddyurappa resigned, he too quit as chief whip of the Legislative Assembly on the grounds that it was a political appointment which was coterminous with Yeddyurappa’s tenure. Sadananda Gowda accepted the resignation and forwarded it to the Assembly Speaker. This had led to speculation that Jeevaraj would get a Cabinet berth.

It is learnt that Yeddyurappa, hours before the Cabinet expansion on Thursday, pressured Gowda and Eshwarappa to induct Jeevaraj. But the Delhi leaders had given permission to induct only five ministers and Jeevaraj was not one among them.  BJP MLA B P Harish, after realising that he will not be a minister, urged Gowda to drop Housing Minister V Somanna from the Cabinet.

“Somanna is my political guru. Yet, I request him to tender his resignation as minister as his family members have been indicted by the Lokayukta in the mining report. If their names are cleared, he can come back (to the ministry),” Harish told a press conference.

Interestingly, Harish had supported the continuation of Yeddyurappa, also indicted in the mining report, at the helm of affairs.  It is said ‘loyal’ party workers who have been denied Cabinet berth are planning to petition Dharmendra Pradhan, incharge of party affairs in Karnataka. Pradhan may visit Bangalore on Saturday, it is said. But there is no confirmation.

Performance review

Those who had rebelled against Yeddyurappa, but now in the Gowda Cabinet, have decided to openly support Gowda to ensure the survival of the government. In an image building exercise, a review of the performance of ministers will be taken up by Gowda for three days from August 16. The chief secretary and economic advisor to the chief minister would also be reviewing the department works, it is said.

Debutantes in Team DVS

Raju Gouda
Age:  33
Constituency - Surpur (ST), Yadgir district
Qualification:  PUC
Family:  1 son
Caste: Naik (ST)
Political career: A two-time MLA from Kodekal village in Surpur taluk Yadgir district, he entered politics at 21. He was first elected to the Zilla Panchayat in 2000.
He was subsequently elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2004 from Surpur on a Kannada Nadu Party (floated by Vijay Sankeshwar) ticket. He was briefly with Ahinda Party floated by Siddaramaiah, before winning the 2008 Assembly elections on a BJP ticket.
Nayak was earlier associated with the Reddy brothers and had once rebelled against B S Yeddyurappa.

C P Yogeshwar
Age:  48
Constituency:  Channapatna
Qualification:  BSc
Family:  2 sons, 1 daughter
Caste:  Vokkaliga
Political career:  Yogeshwar’s tryst with politics began in 1999 when he won the Assembly elections as an Independent.
An actor and realtor, Yogeshwar has been under the IT and CID radar for tax evasion and the infamous Mega City (Vajragiri Township) project on 500 acres of land in Ramanagar district.
The three-time MLA joined the Congress and won two consecutive Assembly elections in 2004 and 2008 from Channapatna. He defected to BJP in 2008 forcing by-elections in the constituency. Yogeshwar lost the by-elections to JD(S) candidate M C Ashwath. In 2009, the BJP fielded him as its Bangalore Rural candidate where he faced a bitter defeat to JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy. BJP, however, forced another by-election in Channapatna by poaching Ashwath in 2010, where Yogeshwar contested and won.

Varthur R Prakash
Age:  45
Constituency:  Kolar
Qualification:  BE
Family:  Three sons
Caste:  Kuruba
Political career:  Varthur entered politics through Congress’ NSUI and climbed the political ladder by winning the gram panchayat and zilla panchayat elections from Varthur constituency.
He also served as the gram panchayat president and contested the 2008 Assembly elections as an Independent and defeated Congress leader and former minister K Srinivas Gowda. A mercurial politician, he associated with the JD(S) and the Congress briefly, by rubbing shoulders with H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah.
Though he was miffed with the BJP government for not inducting him into the Cabinet, he voted in favour of the Yeddyurappa government during the trust vote in October 2010.

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