Berth pangs for Shettar govt

Supporters of disappointed ministerial aspirants take to streets in protest

Berth pangs for Shettar govt

Notes of discontent surfaced on the first day itself for the new government with several senior leaders or their supporters expressing displeasure over their non-inclusion in the 33-member ministry headed by Jagadish Shettar.

The faction-ridden BJP, which till Wednesday had warring factions hankering over power spoils, on Thursday witnessed supporters of some legislators take to the streets seeking “justice” to their leaders.

The disappointment was more in the Yeddyurappa camp with some of the former chief minister’s loyalists - C  C Patil and Lakshman Savadi -  holding parallel meetings on getting to know that they had been excluded from the Cabinet.

There was severe opposition on newly elected MLC B J Puttaswamy being made a minister. Some of Yeddyurappa’s closest loyalists B P Harish and Suresh Gowda are said to be very disappointed. 

However, the shrillest of the discontentment came from legislators of the coastal districts. Denial of Cabinet berth to Haladi Srinvasa Shetty, an MLA from Kundapur in Udupi district, left  him and a  host of his associate legislators fret and fume and raise a banner of revolt against the party.

More than the joy over the elevation of Kota Srinivas Poojari, an MLC and a native of Kundapur as minister, it is the denial of berth to Shetty which has caused heartburn among the MLAs, including Raghupati Bhat, Yogish Bhat, Mallika Prasad and Baindur Lakshminarayan.

Shetty came to Bangalore only after he was informed by his colleagues that he would make it to the Cabinet. But in the morning he realised that the party has chosen Poojari. This literally reduced him to tears.

He was inconsolable for a while in his room at the Legislators’ Home. More than denial of ministership, the humiliation he had to face after coming to Bangalore, made him state that he would not mind resigning as MLA.

In addition, non-representation for Dakshina Kannada district has disappointed BJP leaders and workers of the twin coastal districts.

Supported by Raghupati Bhat, Shetty and his supporters created so much din in the Legislators’ Home that B S Yeddyurappa and his two sons had to rush to pacify them.

Partymen from the coastal districts raised slogans against Yeddyurappa.  However, the former chief minister pacified and assured to set right the ‘injustice’ meted out to Shetty, it is said.

Coastal leaders cry foul

When the coastal district leaders were crying foul, former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda, a native of Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district, was nowhere to be seen.

Elsewhere, supporters of Govinda Karjol, unhappy that their leader had not been elevated to the post of deputy chief minister, staged a protest near Shivananda Circle.

Karjol’s close associates Srikanth Kulkarni and Veeranna Charanthimath remained closeted with him. Some of Karjol’s supporters even sought that he refuse to take oath to register his protest, it is said.

Legislator C C Patil’s residence was a beehive of activity. Disappointed ministerial aspirants Lakshman Savadi, Chikkanagoudar, Srishailappa Bidarur among others made a beeline for his residence.

The group is likely to decide the next course of action in the coming days.  Legislators from Koppal district, Karadi Sanganna and Paranna Manavalli, staged a protest in front of Shettar’s residence to express their displeasure over not ensuring representation to their district.

Mudigere MLA M P Kumaraswamy staged a protest in front of Ambedkar statue, Vidhana Soudha, to register his disappointment.

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