Yediyurappa in Delhi to sort out portfolio puzzle

B S Yediyurappa

After the Cabinet expansion, it’s now the allotment of portfolios that is proving to be a challenge for Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who rushed to Delhi on Thursday to meet the party top brass to sort out the issue.

This is Yediyurappa’s third visit to New Delhi in a span of one month.

The CM has sought an appointment with BJP national president Amit Shah and working president J P Nadda for Friday. This comes in the wake of disgruntlement among senior BJP leaders who were not inducted into the Cabinet, even as rebel legislators camping in Delhi are lobbying for plum portfolios. 

Ministers like Jagadish Shettar, K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka are demanding important portfolios like Finance, Home, Transport, Irrigation, Power and PWD. To complicate matters for Yediyurappa, the 17 disqualified MLAs from the Congress and JD(S) are also demanding key departments as and when they are inducted into the Cabinet.

The rebels, who are awaiting the outcome of their Supreme Court petition challenging their disqualification, have demanded that the CM keep all key portfolios with him for the time being.

After their disqualification is overturned, those portfolios can be allotted to them. The rebels have also sought an audience with Shah.

Shettar, a former CM, is learnt to have demanded the Finance portfolio along with Rural Development or Irrigation. Ashoka and Eshwarappa, former deputy CMs, are eyeing two among the important departments like Home, Power, Transport or Irrigation. Yediyurappa, who is keen on retaining Finance, told the senior leaders that they will be given only one portfolio.

The CM, who expanded the Cabinet on August 20, is under pressure to allot portfolios to ministers even as discord continued within the BJP ranks.  According to the understanding between disqualified rebel leaders and the BJP, 12 leaders should be inducted into the Cabinet with plum portfolios.

The rebels are also said to be upset over the induction of Laxman Savadi in the Cabinet. Congress’ rebel Mahesh Kumatahalli, who won the last election by defeating Savadi in Athani, has also questioned the BJP leaders on whom they plan to field from the constituency for the bypoll.

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