People of North Karnataka, who have been solidly supporting the BJP for almost over a decade, are disappointed as no representation was given to the region in the Modi cabinet which was formed on Monday.
The N-K region had decisively voted for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, sending nine MPs to Parliament. In 2009 also, the region had favoured the saffron party, though it was routed elsewhere in the country. Considering this, it was expected that at least one MP from the region would make it to the cabinet in the first round itself.
In the run-up to the cabinet formation, there was talk that Bijapur MP Ramesh Jigajinagi would get a berth. He is a five-time MP and would fit into the caste equation perfectly as he belongs to a scheduled caste. The state BJP unit had recommended his name along with those of former chief ministers B S Yeddyurappa and D V Sadananda Gowda, and former minister H N Ananth Kumar.
However, Modi has not heeded the request and has chosen to please the party's traditional vote bank of Lingayats and its new Vokkaliga supporters by inducting Davangere MP G M Siddeshwar and Bangalore North MP Sadananda Gowda respectively. The induction of Ananth Kumar was natural as he has been the party's face of Karnataka at the national-level.
Senior journalist Madan Mohan said it had been the case with the North Karnataka region for years. “There should have been a representation for the region considering its support to the BJP over the years,” he said, adding there was enough representation as far as the state was concerned.
Jagadish Shettar said he was also hoping for a cabinet berth for the region. “We will bring this to the notice of national leaders,” he told Express.
Harish Ramaswamy, professor of political science in Karnatak University, Dharwad, refuses to attach much importance to the lack of representation to the region. "I don't think we should expect such things from Modi. He appears to be man of action and does not believe in caste and regional representation," he said.