BELAGAVI: Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi was given direct access to BJP national president Amit Shah on Friday for a meeting at a time when Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa finds himself struggling to get an appointment to meet Shah. While the meeting purportedly was to discuss the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections, sources said that the duo also discussed the floods in Karnataka as well as other issues.
The Chief Minister has been so far unsuccessful in seeking an audience with Shah in order to press for flood-relief, cabinet expansion and to discuss the case of disqualified legislators. In this backdrop, the access granted to Savadi has reportedly upset Yediyurappa’s team.
Speaking to TNIE about the meeting, Savadi said, “It was mainly to discuss the upcoming assembly polls in Maharashtra. The party expects me to play a key role. I also discussed the flood situation back in Karnataka and appealed to Shah to help release funds to the state.”
Hours before he met Shah in New Delhi on Friday, Savadi had listed flood-relief works and modification of traffic fines as topics on his list for discussion with the BJP president.
Sources say that Shah seems to be cosying up to Savadi due to the latter’s successful poll strategies in six border districts of Maharashtra in the last elections. The assembly segments in these districts are predominantly occupied by Kannadigas with strong links to parts of Mumbai-Karnataka, especially the Belagavi district. In fact, sources pointed out, this was one of the key reasons he was made Deputy Chief Minister.
In another blow to Yediyurappa, soon after the meeting with Savadi, the BJP high command also issued a stern warning to the CM, asking for his son BY Raghavendra not to meddle in state affairs, particularly the transfer of officials. Raghavendra later clarified that he was not involved in any state government affairs.