Amid lobbying, CM says portfolio allocation on Monday

Amid lobbying, Karnataka CM says portfolio allocation on Monday

BS Yediyurappa. (DH Photo)

The newly inducted Cabinet ministers will be allocated portfolios on Monday, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said Saturday, even as hectic lobbying is underway to bag plum departments. 

After 10 legislators were inducted into his Cabinet on Thursday, Yediyurappa had said they would get portfolios by Saturday. "Everything is ready, but since it's a holiday today (fourth Saturday), it will happen Monday morning," Yediyurappa told reporters. 

The chief minister also said that he had not planned a visit to Delhi to hold talks with the BJP central leadership. "I'm not going now," he said, when asked. Before the new ministers were sworn-in, Yediyurappa had said the party top brass had asked him to come to Delhi to discuss inducting 'native' BJP leaders. There are still six berths vacant in the 28-member Cabinet with a sanctioned strength of 34. 

Meanwhile, the newly inducted ministers continued parleys seeking the portfolios of their choice. Reportedly, minister Ramesh Jarkiholi held talks with Yediyurappa earlier in the day asking him to be given the water resources portfolio. In the previous Congress-JD(S) government, the water resources department was held by Congress' D K Shivakumar, who is Jarkiholi's bete noire. Apparently, the chief minister is not keen on giving this crucial portfolio to Jarkiholi, leading to a deadlock. At present, the water resources portfolio is with the chief minister. 

It is also said that 'native' BJP MLAs aspiring to join the Cabinet have urged the chief minister to keep some portfolios for them. 

Another minister S T Somashekhar, who also met Yediyurappa earlier in the day, said he wanted the Bengaluru City Development portfolio. "I'm not mounting any pressure on the chief minister over portfolio allocation. The chief minister said the portfolios will be allocated Monday," he said. "I've told the chief minister that it'll help if I'm given a portfolio in which I'm interested, and Bengaluru development is one," he said. 

In the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition, Somashekhar was appointed as the Bangalore Development Authority chairperson. 

The energy portfolio, which is currently with the chief minister, is also much sought-after. 

But Revenue Minister R Ashoka said there was no infighting over portfolios. "They (new ministers) will work efficiently with whatever portfolios they will be given. They will get portfolios based on their capacity and experience, such as those who've worked in the cooperation sector, Bengaluru city development, water resources, public works and so on," Ashoka said. 


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