BJP does 'balancing' act with Karnataka cabinet

BJP does 'balancing' act in Karnataka cabinet portfolio allocation

The party managed to keep Yediyurappa happy without giving in fully to his pulls and pressures

Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with newly inducted ministers during swearing-in ceremony to form the Cabinet at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru. Credit: PTI Photo

The BJP after successfully ensuring the smooth exit of former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, has managed to expand the cabinet and allocate cabinet portfolios without giving any room for controversy and dissent.

The party has also managed to keep Yediyurappa happy without giving in fully to his pulls and pressures. Cabinet berth was denied to his son BJP Vice-President B Y Vijayendra, who was allegedly a shadow of his father. At the same time, his loyalists were kept out of the cabinet, who went out of the way to support him at the time of Yediyurappa's exit.

Anand Singh, BJP MLA from Vijayanagar was the only person to raise his voice on portfolio allocation. He has been given Ecology, Environment and Tourism ministry. "It is painful. I had expected a better portfolio. Will meet Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and express my concerns," he said.

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B Sriramulu, a powerful backward class leader, is also believed to be upset with the allocated portfolio.

However, Bommai explained that he has spoken to Anand Singh in this regard as he is a good friend. "The cabinet is being expanded to ensure changes in the administration. All are allocated with good portfolios," he maintained.

The party and Bommai have also ensured the political management by allocating cabinet berths to most of the migrant MLAs (those who resigned from Congress and JD(S) to join BJP). At the same time the party gave plum posts to newly inducted cabinet ministers without disturbing senior party leaders.

Expressing happiness over cabinet portfolio allocation, K S Eshwarappa, one among the top leaders in the state, said, "The portfolios are given as per the strengths and wishes of the candidates. The team is ready to perform and get results."

Govind Karajol, minister for Water Resources, explained that his portfolio was earlier held by Chief Minister Bommai and he would take all guidance from him to deliver. C C Patil, the minister for PWD however said that he did not expect to get a prestigious portfolio.

The party is gearing up to face long pending zilla panchayat and taluka panchayat elections which will be held shortly in the state. The BJP, with the cabinet expansion and portfolio distribution, is also preparing the ground for the next state assembly and Lok Sabha elections, party sources explained.