Losers may not become ministers: BJP MLA S T Somashekar

Berth pangs: Losers may not become ministers, says Karnataka BJP MLA S T Somashekar

A H Vishwanath

Newly elected BJP MLA S T Somashekar, in a veiled attack on party leader and ministerial aspirant A H Vishwanath, said those who had lost in Assembly bypolls December last were unlikely to get a Cabinet berth.

Speaking to reporters at Suttur near here on Saturday, Somashekar said, “Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had made it clear ahead of the Assembly bypoll last December that it would be difficult to accommodate the losers in his Cabinet. Yediyurappa had told a few leaders, who had hopped from Congress and the JD(S) to bring down the coalition government, not to contest the Assembly bypolls.

The chief minister had assured them of making MLCs in May 2020. Shankar (former Ranebennur MLA) obliged, but others did not heed Yediyurappa’s advice. They contested the bypolls and lost. Now, they are demanding Cabinet berth. It is left to Yediyurappa to whether draft them into his Cabinet or not,” Somashekar, a ministerial aspirant, said.

“We have sought ministership to all 11 newly elected MLAs. We are confident that the chief minister would keep his words,” Somashekar, once the close aide of Congress leader Siddaramaiah, said.

Vishwanath, who hopped from the JD(S) to the BJP, lost to Congress’ H P Manjunath in the Hunsur Assembly segment in the bypolls

Reacting to Somashekar’s comment, Vishwanath said, “We are not begging. All 17 MLAs, who crossed over, must be made ministers as promised. The BJP regained power because of our sacrifice and it would do well to keep its promise of making all 17 the ministers.

“We are not demanding ministerial berths, not DyCM post The BJP leadership can’t deny ministership for the defeated candidates. It has appointed Laxman Savadi, who’d lost the 2018 Assembly polls, as Deputy Chief Minister. Even Arun Jaitley was made Union minister though he’d lost 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar, to make use of his service and experience,” he said.