Gowda gets party nod to expand Cabinet

Gadkari upset over BSYs ultimatum to leaders

Gowda gets party nod to expand Cabinet

Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda’s mission to Delhi has borne fruit. The BJP central leadership on Wednesday gave him freedom to expand his Cabinet as well as appoint chairpersons to boards and corporations.

This is the second time in less than four months that he is getting the backing of Delhi leaders to function independently and effectively as the chief minister. He also submitted his resignation as MP. 

Gowda, along with state party president K S Eshwarappa, met BJP national president Nitin Gadkari and was closeted with him for more than an hour. Gadkari is learnt to have expressed his unhappiness over Yeddyurappa’s ultimatum to the national leaders to make him the chief minister by January 15, failing which he (Yeddyurappa) would decide his next course of action. Gadkari said he would advise the agitated leader to be an obedient party worker. He said till Yeddyurappa got a clean chit from the courts he had to wait for getting any post, sources in the party said.

The central leaders have snubbed Yeddyurappa by reportedly telling Gowda and Eshwarappa that the party believed in collective leadership and not projecting one individual as the leader of the party.

Last week Yeddyurappa had stated that he did not believe in collective leadership . A party should have only one captain, he had argued.  He is not in a position to take any decision because he is not sure as to how many MLAs would back him in case he decides to walk out of the BJP. At his residence in Bangalore at the same time, former chief minister Yeddyurappa held a meeting with five Cabinet ministers and his loyalists — Shobha Karandlaje, C M Udasi, M P Renukacharya,  V Somanna and Lakshman Savadi.

Two MLAs, D P Harish and Anand Singh, were also present. They are all known hardcore loyalists of Yeddyurappa.

The show of solidarity to the former chief minister came at a time when Gowda is slowly but steadily is asserting himself to function independently.

Yeddyurappa is cut up with the party leaders for not allowing him to reclaim the post he lost to Gowda, even after he got anticipatory bail in the High Court in six cases he is facing.

Gowda and Eshwarappa had been to Delhi to reportedly get a clear word from the leadership on Yeddyurapa’s repeated claims on chief ministership. Gadkari is learnt to have told the duo that they did not need to get perturbed with Yeddyurappa’s statements, and promised them that there would be no change of guard in the State - either at the level of chief minister or in the state party presidenship.

Praising Gowda’s administrative skill, Gadkari reportedly advised both the chief minister and Eshwarappa to focus on strengthening the party organisation. On the issue of Cabinet expansion and appointment of chairmen to boards and corporations, Gadkari told them to make the appointments in consultation with State leaders. He told them to convene the State party executive committee meeting early and promised to attend it.

Earlier, Gowda and Eshwarappa met other senior party leaders  L K Advani and Rajnath Singh and held discussions on the State unit developments. Yeddyurappa is said to have been deeply offended by Gowda taking the leadership issue to New Delhi. Yeddyurappa feels but for him, Gowda would not have become the chief minister.

Renukacharya told reporters that Yeddyurappa was their undisputed leader but denied that the former chief minister was trying to dislodge Gowda. “Yeddyurappa stepped down from the CM’s post voluntarily. He is keen to work for the party and will not take any hasty decision,” he said.

In Delhi, Gowda met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and tendered his resignation as  Lok Sabha member. 

Gowda hosted lunch to MPsat Karnataka Bhavan, which was also attended by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Union Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily, Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Rahman Khan.


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