BANGALORE: It was a hectic day for state BJP leaders in New Delhi on Sunday as they held a series of meetings with national leaders and the RSS leadership to lobby for at least four berths for Karnataka in Narendra Modi’s Cabinet.
State party president Prahlad Joshi, national general secretary H N Ananth Kumar, former chief ministers D V Sadananda Gowda, B S Yeddyurappa, Jagadish Shettar and former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa first held discussions among themselves. Later in the day, a delegation of state leaders met Modi, party national president Rajnath Singh and senior leader Arun Jaitley.
Eshwarappa told reporters that they would camp in Delhi for another day or two to make a concerted effort to get the maximum number of berths for Karnataka. Though he refused to divulge the names that were suggested, Eshwarappa said Ananth Kumar, Yeddyurappa and Sadananda Gowda were natural choices based on their contribution to the party over the last few decades.
The basic demand is to get at least four slots of the rank of Cabinet minister and two of Minister of State.
The names of Ananth Kumar, Yeddyurappa, Sadananda Gowda and Ramesh Jigajinagi are doing the rounds for the slots of Cabinet rank.
However, with Modi drawing up his own plans of giving more weightage to those who are efficient, have youthful energy and a clean image, doubts are being expressed about Yeddyurappa’s chances. In such an eventuality, the Lingayat strongman is likely to get a chance to name a candidate of his choice to assuage his feelings.
Yeddyurappa also met senior RSS leaders in Delhi to improve his chances of making it to the ministry.
Meanwhile, the names of Pratap Simha, first-time MP elect from Mysore, Shobha Karandlaje from Udupi-Chikmagalur and Nalin Kumar Kateel from Dakshina Kannada are also doing the rounds as potential candidates for MoS posts. Sources say, the RSS is pushing for the induction of Simha and Kateel in the ministry.