Yediyurappa tries to pacify sulking legislators

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. DH file photo

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa swung into firefighting mode on Wednesday to douse the embers of disgruntlement within the BJP after he inducted 17 ministers into his Cabinet.

Party legislators Umesh Katti (Hukkeri), M P Renukacharya (Honnali), Ramappa Lamani (Shirahatti), Raju Gowda (Shorapur) among others have made their disgruntlement public for not being made ministers.  Yediyurappa told reporters that he would speak to those who are upset.

“For one hour yesterday (Tuesday), I held talks with Katti. He is upset that he should have been given a ministerial berth, which is natural. We will try to remedy that,” he said, adding that he would also reach out to Renukacharya.

On Wednesday, ministerial aspirants Basanagouda Patil Yatnal (Bijapur City), C M Udasi (Hangal) and Raju Gowda met Yediyurappa. 

According to sources, Yediyurappa tried convincing the likes of Katti and Yatnal that they will be considered when the Cabinet is expanded later on. Inducting more Lingayats may send out a wrong message, Yediyurappa is said to have told them. 

Earlier in the day, Renukacharya told reporters that he was upset over the induction of Laxman Savadi into the Cabinet. “Weren’t there other MLAs? Katti has won eight times. Why not him? Davangere has six MLAs. Why not one of them? There would have been respect if someone who won had been inducted. But today, people are pontificating at the induction of someone who lost,” Renukacharya said. Savadi lost the Assembly polls last year from the Athani constituency. 

Renukacharya also berated those who had attacked Yediyurappa when he floated his own party.

The former minister clarified later that he was not disgruntled. “Till the time Yediyurappa is in politics, I will be like his son. I will never betray him and the party,” he said.

Katti also ruled out deserting the BJP for not being made a minister, after rumours of him joining the JD(S) surfaced.

“I was a minister in the J H Patel Cabinet between 1996 and 1999. In 2008, I joined the BJP through Operation Lotus and served as minister till 2013. Both times, I was lauded for doing well. I am still trying to be a minister, but if I am not lucky, what can anyone do? But I am saying repeatedly, I am not disgruntled,” Katti said.  

The legislators from Kodagu, K G Bopaiah (Virajpet) and Appachu Ranjan (Madikeri), made their unhappiness known after the duo skipped a meeting on floods chaired by Minister S Suresh Kumar.

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