BSY to meet BJP central leadership to finalise portfolios of Ministers
Bengaluru, Aug 22: Faced with discontent in a section of the BJP over cabinet expansion, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday decided to meet the party's central leadership to discuss the issue of allocation of portfolios to the newly appointed ministers.
Some disqualified former legislators of the Congress and JDS who helped bring down the coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy are reportedly piling pressure on the BJP, seeking their pound of flesh and plum portfolios.
"Today evening I will go to Delhi and meet our national President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will come back tomorrow evening or the day after morning," Yediyurappa said. Asked whether the allocation of portfolios would take place after his return from Delhi, Yediyurappa said: "Today we will discuss and take a decision".
More than three weeks after he was sworn in as the Chief Minister, Yediyurappa expanded his cabinet last Tuesday, inducting 17 Ministers. He has kept 16 Minister posts vacant to accommodate some more BJP members and from among those 17 disqualified former legislators who helped him come to power.
Several BJP MLAs have openly expressed dissatisfaction over being left out of the Ministry. Meanwhile, Yediyurappa said all his Ministers are currently touring flood affected areas and are assessing the situation there. "There is some delay in the distribution of Rs 10,000 each to the affected families as immediate relief. I have ordered Deputy Commissioners that by today evening it should be completed 90 per cent," the chief minister said.
Stating that he has issued instruction for immediate construction of temporary sheds for those displaced, he said the ministers would come back and submit a report, following which the cabinet would hold a review meeting and if necessary, speed up relief and rehabilitation work.
"If houses are damaged, we will help in construction by providing Rs five lakh each," he said, Yediyurappa on Wednesday had said the newly-appointed Ministers would be allocated portfolios in a couple of days.
Several disqualified MLAs, including Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatahalli, S T Somashekar, Byrati Basavaraj left for Delhi on Wednesday amid reports that they had expressed keenness to meet BJP's central leadership on their political future.
The then assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar had disqualified 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs under the anti-defection law, which they have challenged in the Supreme Court. On getting relief from the apex court, some of them would be inducted into the cabinet as per the arrangement agreed upon, BJP sources said, noting that Yediyurappa has kept 16 berths still vacant. However, K Sudhakar, one of the disqualified MLAs has clarified that they were going to Delhi to meet the lawyers representing them in the Supreme Court, where their plea challenging the disqualification is pending.
But speculations are rife that they may make attempts to meet some top BJP leaders, with BJP leader C P Yogeshwar accompanying them to Delhi.