Ahead of Cabinet expansion, BJP faces flurry of woes

Last Updated 26 December 2019, 19:51 IST

The BJP may have secured a convincing win in the recent bypolls, but Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's troubles seem far from over.

He faces the threat of rebellion from his senior minister B Sriramulu, the Valmiki leader who recently threatened to quit if reservation for Scheduled Tribes is not hiked to 7.5%.

In addition, the newly-elected MLAs, who had defected from the Congress and JD(S) before being elected from the BJP recently, are also mounting pressure as a 'unified group' seeking fulfilment of their demands. While most of their demands are likely to be met, the fate of RR Nagar MLA Munirathna might turn out to be a thorn in the flesh for BSY.

Sriramulu has been giving the jitters to Yediyurappa after the saffron party went back on its word of appointing him as DyCM - and assurance made during Assembly polls in 2018. While his demands were guarded in nature previously, Sriramulu appears to be throwing his weight around ahead of the Cabinet expansion.

The health minister had threatened to quit as minister and MLA in November itself if reservation for Valmiki community was not increased from 3 to 7.5%. This, apart from Sriramulu positioning himself as the undisputed leader of ST community, was also meant to go one up over Gokak MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who also hails from the same community and was also promised DyCM berth.

Sriramulu, meanwhile, maintained that the DyCM demand was not his 'but of the people' on Wednesday, a day after he threatened to resign again from BJP government along with other MLAs from ST community.

Apart from it, the 'unified group' of MLAs who defected to BJP is also a cause of concern. Doubts on the future of former Hoskote MLA MTB Nagaraj and sitting MLA from Rajarajeshwari Nagar Muniratna, appears to have unsettled the camp.

Muniraju Gowda, BJP candidate who had lost against Munirathna in 2018, has refused to withdraw a case of electoral irregularities filed against the latter. Munirathna's attempts to impress BJP leadership towards withdrawing the case have not been successful.

Nagaraj, meanwhile, has also expressed dissatisfaction over his waning influence in Hoskote constituency following his defeat to BJP rebel candidate Sharath Bachegowda. Apart from demands to rein in the BJP rebel, Nagaraj has demanded the chief minister to appoint him as a minister soon to revive his prospects.

When contacted, BJP general secretary N Ravikumar said, "all issues will be sorted out before the Cabinet expansion."

(Published 26 December 2019, 16:40 IST)

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