Lobbying delays work allocation

Lobbying delays work allocation

New ministers vie for key portfolios

Intense lobbying for portfolios by ministers and the factions backing them has prevented Jagadish Shettar from allocating responsibilities to his 33 Cabinet colleagues, two days after he was sworn as chief minister.

With the two factions, one with B S Yeddyurappa and the other against, breathing down his neck, it is clear that Shettar is not free to decide allocation of portfolios, leaving the 33 ministers, who include two deputy chief ministers with no work. They have been allotted rooms in Vidhana Soudha and the adjoining Vikasa Soudha. 

On Friday, Shettar chaired a video conference to get feedback from deputy commissioners on the drought situation in the State. Some of the ministers attended the meeting, but with no specific responsibities, had little to contribute.

The BJP core team comprising Shettar, K S Eshwarappa, Ananth Kumar, Yeddyurappa, party functionaries Santhosh and Satish met late on Friday to discuss the allocation of portfolios.  Shettar’s senior deputy, Eshwarappa is understood to be keen on the finance portfolio, but Shettar is understood to be keen on retaining finance and present an election budget next year.

Shettar’s other deputy, R Ashoka, wants to continue with the transport and home portfolios. But, Balachandra Jarkiholi, who claims the support of 13 MLAs, is said to be stepping up pressure to get transport.

Yeddyurappa is learnt to have impressed on Shettar that the portfolios of the nine ministers from his camp (who had been continued from the Gowda cabinet) be retained.

The rival faction is exerting equal pressure on Shettar. Bache Gowda is said to be demanding power, the portfolio held by Shobha Karandlaje, a protege of the former chief minister. Govind Karjol, who was in the race for the post of deputy chief minister, is said to have sought the water resources portfolioheld by Basavaraj Bommai, another Yeddyurappa loyalist. 

The anti-Yeddyurappa camp also wants the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Development portfolio held by Shettar. Minister Varthur Prakash, an independent, wants a prime portfolio this time, preferably textiles.

As for the newcomers in the cabinet, tourism is likely to allocated to C T Ravi, while D N Jeevaraj is likely to get Kannada and Culture. Appachu Ranjan is likely to be allotted Youth Services, while Kota Srinivasa Poojary may get Ports.

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