Threat of sacking made Karnataka ministers fall in line

Threat of sacking made Karnataka ministers fall in line

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. (DH Photo)

It was a stern warning issued late Monday night by the BJP top brass that got disgruntled ministers in Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s Cabinet fall in line. 

The “stern” warning was simple: If you don’t desist from expressing unhappiness over allocation of portfolios, you will be sacked. 

Ministers K S Eshwarappa, C T Ravi, R Ashoka, Jagadish Shettar and B Sriramulu were reportedly upset with the appointment of three deputy CMs — Govind Karjol, C N Ashwathnarayan and Laxman Savadi — and that they had been given “low profile” portfolios. Apparently, some wanted to throw a tantrum by toying with the idea of quitting the Cabinet. 

On Tuesday, Eshwarappa, Ravi and Shettar clarified that they would abide by the decision taken by the party leadership.

“Our focus should solely be on the development of the state. We should get going on the responsibilities given to us by the party leadership. Show of protests or disgruntlement must be discouraged,” Eshwarappa, the former deputy CM, tweeted. 

Even Ravi took to Twitter late Monday night to clarify that his loyalty towards the party was uncompromising. “To those who are suspecting me, I have never indulged in opportunistic politics nor have I ever warmed up to people in power to indulge in gainful politics,” he said. It is learnt that BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh reached out to Ravi to talk him out of his discontentment. 

In fact, Shettar said he was not interested in becoming deputy CM. “The central leadership and the CM have finalised the portfolios. Minor discontentment is common,” he said.

Taking a tough stand against rebellion, Yediyurappa was asked by the party top brass to drop from his Cabinet those ministers who continued to play hard ball, sources told DH. Indiscipline will not be tolerated, the CM was told categorically. 

Sriramulu, the Health Minister said to be sulking for not being made the deputy CM, has been asked to instruct his followers to stop all protests, sources said.

Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra, who is considered as the Lingayat strongman’s political heir, told reporters that the creation of three deputy CMs was in the party’s best interest. “It was a unanimous decision of the party,” he said. “And it was not a move aimed at undermining Yediyurappa, as is being projected. He would not have been the CM if he was to be undermined in the first place.”

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