It's wait and watch for ministers who defected for BSY

It's wait and watch for ministers who defected for B S Yediyurappa

As many as 17 quit the Congress-JD(S) coalition and 16 of them joined the BJP in 2019 in a protracted political drama that Yediyurappa is said to have scripted

A delegation of various Lingayat seers, led by Tumakuru Siddanganga seer Siddalinga Swami, called on Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday. DH phto

While uncertainty surrounds B S Yediyurappa’s continuation as chief minister, a sense of nervousness haunts legislators who became ministers after defecting from the Congress and JD(S) to help the Lingayat leader install the BJP government. 

As many as 17 quit the Congress-JD(S) coalition and 16 of them joined the BJP in 2019 in a protracted political drama that Yediyurappa is said to have scripted. Of them, 12 are currently Yediyurappa’s Cabinet colleagues.

Notwithstanding the general understanding that the party is unlikely to ask the ‘migrant’ ministers to step down, they are jittery over the implications a change of guard will have on their standing in the BJP.

A senior BJP leader and a Yediyurappa loyalist told DH, “If anyone believes that these ministers will be asked to step down because of a change in leadership, they are underestimating the stature of Yediyurappa’s leadership.” 

However, the newbies are not privy to many developments in a party that follows a strict code of hierarchy, which has caused some concern.

One of the migrant ministers told DH, “We want to believe that the party high command will keep its promise and not ask us to step down. But we know nothing for certain. It is a wait-and-watch game as of now. We just know that there are talks of replacing Yediyurappa. We do not know what the final decision will be. While we were actively part of decision-making in our previous parties, we are not privy to all the information in the BJP.”

Also read: Amid talk about CM Yediyurappa's exit, guessing game on successor gains traction

These ‘migrants’ also face some pushback from the ‘native’ BJP leaders who felt heartburn when Yediyurappa appointed turncoats as ministers. 

Some of the Congress-JD(S) turncoats that DH spoke to ruled out any possibility of them switching back to their old parties, irrespective of whether they continued in their posts or not.

Requesting anonymity, one BJP legislator from Bengaluru said Yediyurappa’s promise to the Congress-JD(S) rebels was fulfilled the day many of them were inducted into the Cabinet. “They have enjoyed power. Whether they continue or not is immaterial.” 

Of the 16 who defected to join the BJP, 13 were rewarded with ministerial positions. One of them, Ramesh Jarkiholi, resigned recently following a sex scandal.

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