BJP’s ‘migrants’ huddle in show of support for BSY

BJP’s ‘migrants’ huddle in show of support for Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. Credit: DH Photo

The delay in Cabinet expansion has intensified groupism in the ruling BJP as a dozen “migrant” ministers and legislators -- those who defected from the Congress and JD(S) last year -- huddled on Friday night to discuss the goings-on in the party. 

Ministers S T Somashekhar, Byrathi Basavaraj, Anand Singh, Shivaram Hebbar, B C Patil, MLA Munirathna among others got together at a star hotel in what was seen as an exercise to express confidence in Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s leadership. Most of those who defected are seen as loyal to Yediyurappa as they joined the BJP based on his assurance that their interests would be safeguarded. 

It is said that the group expressed displeasure with the behaviour of Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi. Jarkiholi, who was one among 17 rebels who defected to help the BJP come to power, spent a few days in Delhi and is learnt to have lobbied for the inclusion of MLC C P Yogeeshwar into the Cabinet. 

This has left a section of “native” BJP MLAs fuming, leading to a “native vs migrants” narrative within the BJP. 

Also, Jarkiholi’s moves made it look like he had the ‘migrants’ support, which could send a wrong signal and put Yediyurappa in a spot, it was discussed at the meet. 

Further, it is said that MLCs M T B Nagaraj and H Vishwanath made their disgruntlement clear. 

Jarkiholi said he wanted “all those who made sacrifices to help the BJP come to power” to be made ministers. “I have never claimed leadership of the group. I have always said ‘we’ and not ‘me’,” he said. Asked about the Friday night meeting, he said: “Such meetings should happen only in the party’s office and with the CM.” 

Jarkiholi, upon returning from Delhi, met Yediyurappa. He said he discussed department works. Yogeeshwar said many were “troubled” with his political growth.