Birth pangs for BJP Govt in K'taka

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Bangalore, May 30 (UNI) The new-born Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in Karnataka suffered birth pangs, as three senior party leaders expressed displeasure over their non-inclusion in the 30-member Ministry, headed by Mr B S Yeddyurappa, today.

The leaders Jagdish Shettar, Shankaralingegowda and A Narayanaswamy voiced their resentment, even as a section of their supporters took to the streets in Hubli and Bangalore, demanding justice to their leaders. Several vehicles, including five state-run buses, were damaged in Hubli following stone throwing by supporters of Mr Shettar.

In Bangalore, demonstrators gathered in front of the Chief Minister's home-office 'Krishna', seeking inclusion of Mr Shettar in the Cabinet. Mr Shettar and Mr Gowda kept away from the swearing-in ceremony.

Mr Shettar spurned the offer of Speakership and said he was pained at attempts ''being made to curb his growth''.

Mr Shettar, who had been the State party chief and Leader of the Opposition, was a key partyman in Northern Karnataka and was responsible for winning several seats in the region. Besides, he himself had won four times from Hubli.

Mr Gowda also expressed anguish over the party ignoring him despite his impressive win from Mysore district, which had no representation in the Ministry.

''Despite winning the elections in an impressive fashion and that too fourth time on a trot, I was not considered. What is the yardstick my leaders are using to choose Ministers. I have been a disciplined soldier of the party for over two decades,'' Mr Gowda told UNI.

UNI SR-VK SY HT1912

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