CM's 'appease' plan: BJP fails to speak in one voice

A section of senior BJP leaders have reportedly objected to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s proposal to accommodate family members of the 17 disqualified legislators into his Cabinet. 

“Yediyurappa wants to induct family members or relatives or any others suggested by disqualified legislators into the Cabinet and field them for bypolls to reward them for helping the BJP to come to power. Many are averse to the plan,” a top BJP leader told DH.

BJP spokesperson and former minister S Suresh Kumar, however, termed this as a rumour. “There was no discussion in the legislature party meeting about this.”

Kumar said Yediyurappa would leave for Delhi on Friday. It would take some time to finalise the list of ministers considering the ongoing session of Parliament.

The BJP, which currently has 105 members, must win byelections from at least 10 seats to reach 115, above the halfway mark of 113 in the 224-member Assembly. Saffron party leaders believe that it will be a challenge to win 10 seats as only a few of the disqualified legislators are capable of winning on individual capacity. 

According to sources, Yediyurappa’s concern is that disqualified legislators may work against the BJP in the bypolls if they are not accommodated. The government may be toppled if the BJP fails to bag 10 seats.

Hence, he has proposed to induct their family members, to keep them in good humour. He wants to make them chiefs of boards and corporations if not ministers, party sources said.

Seniors want Yediyurappa to wait till the Supreme Court’s final judgement on petitions challenging disqualifications. They consider it as injustice to loyal party workers to field family members of the disqualified legislators.

“Party president Amit Shah will take a final call on the plan. Yediyurappa getting Shah’s approval for the plan looks doubtful,” a senior leader said. 

The BJP will have to perform a delicate balancing act to represent disqualified legislators, loyalists, youngsters, seniors and migrants. One of the three women MLAs Shashikala Jolle (Nippani), Roopali Santosh Naik (Karwar) and K Poornima (Hiriyur) should be inducted in women’s quota.

Veerashiva – Lingayats and Valmiki communities
should be rewarded for backing the party, besides ensuring appropriate regional representation.

As many as 56 legislators have won over three or more elections. Close to 60 MLAs are vying for berths, while the approved strength of the cabinet is 34, including the chief minister.

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