BANGALORE: In a move that could leave former chief minister B S Yeddyurapa red-faced, a group of BJP MLAs have started a signature campaign to press for the early expansion of Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda’s Cabinet.
A few like-minded MLAs have grouped under the leadership of Chikmagalur MLA C T Ravi, a follower of state BJP president K S Eshwarappa, and started the signature campaign on Thursday to exert pressure on the party high command to allow Gowda to initiate the Cabinet expansion.
Already 27 MLAs have signed and many more are expected to join the campaign, Ravi said at a press conference here on Thursday, along with MLAs Appachchu Ranjan, Sogadu Shivanna and Abhay Patil.
“We will be writing to BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, Karnataka BJP incharge Dharmendra Pradhan, Eshwarappa, Gowda and Yeddyurappa and demand for cabinet expansion and re-allocation of portfolios,” the MLA sought to explain.
Portfolio Reallocation in BJPs ‘Interests’
The move of these MLAs is being seen in political circles as a strategy to scuttle Yeddyurappa’s efforts to stop the Cabinet expansion till a final decision on his reinstatement as CM is taken by the party high command.
By demanding re-allocation of portfolios, these MLAs are also eyeing plum portfolios like industry, water resources, energy which are now held by Yeddyurappa supporters.
“This campaign is in the interest of the party and not against anyone,” Ravi claimed.
Currently 15 districts — including Chikmagalur, Madikeri and Gadag, where the BJP has won all Assembly seats — have no Cabinet representation.
“In such a scenario, we feel it right to apprise the party high command about the situation and demand equal social and regional representation in the Cabinet.
This is necessary as elections are just a year away...
we are not demanding Cabinet berths for ourselves, but only its expansion and re-allocation of portfolios,” he said.
Ravi averred that a group in BJP has given the impression to the party high command that the government would collapse if Cabinet expansion was to take place.