Karnataka cabinet expansion saga exposes fault lines in BJP

Last Updated 27 January 2020, 01:45 IST

The Cabinet expansion saga is exposing the fault lines within the BJP, as party leaders took potshots at each other over the issue on Sunday while the Congress rubbed its hands in glee, terming the mess a “victory of justice”.

Speaking at Suttur Mutt near Mysuru, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa repeated his assurance, stating that new ministers will be inducted in “a few days”. He also announced that Chikkaballapur MLA K Sudhakar will be among them.

While this came as good news for the former Congress MLA, two other former Congress legislators Mahesh Kumathahalli from Athani and Shrimant Patil from Kagwad, who won the December bypolls on a BJP ticket, are likely to be disappointed.

As there are quite a few ministerial aspirants from the BJP’s old guard, Vijayapura MLA Basangouda Patil Yatnal took a subtle dig at Industries minister Jagadish Shettar, who was also the chief minister for one year. “A few have enjoyed all power in the party,” he said, adding that such leaders should sacrifice their berths for the benefit of others.

Meanwhile, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy announced that he was willing to sacrifice his berth if it helped the party. His remarks were in response to rumours that he was likely to be dropped in the upcoming Cabinet expansion or reshuffle.

Health Minister B Sriramulu, who is keen on the DyCM post, dismissed any talks of ‘sacrifice’, reiterating that “people have been demanding” DyCM berth for him.

All decisions regarding the issue will be finalised by the party high command and the CM, he said. The Congress, however, appeared to be savouring the protracted delay and the complications faced by Yediyurappa.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah described the uncertainties faced by the MLAs who lost the polls after contesting on a BJP ticket as “victory to justice”.

“It is the right punishment for those who betrayed the faith of the people and party, and lost elections after joining BJP,” he said in a tweet.

(Published 26 January 2020, 19:13 IST)

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