BENGALURU: If all goes well, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar will be inducted into BS Yediyurappa’s cabinet, the first to become a minister after holding the chief minister’s post in Karnataka.
Shettar (63), six-time MLA from Hubballi, was unanimously elected Speaker in 2008, and the next year, was inducted into Yediyurappa’s cabinet as Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister. Shettar, a strong Lingayat leader, had replaced DV Sadananda Gowda as chief minister in 2012.
A senior BJP leader told TNIE that Shettar is an influential leader from North Karnataka, and inducting him into the cabinet has many added advantages. “There is a large Lingayat population in North Karnataka, and the BJP will gain the people’s confidence,’’ the leader said.
Another senior leader said that Yediyurappa will be going to Delhi shortly to meet party leaders. “Yediyurappa will have a list of names for his cabinet. Party leaders in Delhi might not approve all, but Shettar is sure to get a berth,” he said. A source added that one of the reasons why Shettar was not made Speaker was because he was keen on becoming a minister.
“Shettar is a humble man and does not mind being a minister though he has held the CM’s post earlier. He is capable and efficient,’’ says party sources. At least 10-15 ministers are likely to be sworn in.When contacted, Shettar was taciturn. “Whatever responsibility is given to me, now or in the coming days, I will carry out,’’ he said.
CM Yediyurappa has to wait for a couple of days to see his cabinet take shape, and get a nod from the central leadership in New Delhi. He is expected to meet party leaders on Saturday.With the ongoing Parliament session, BJP leaders have not been able to give Yediyurappa time to finalise names for the new cabinet. Yediyurappa was sworn in Chief Minister on Friday and on Monday, he passed the floor test. He passed the Finance Bill on priority.
A senior BJP leader told TNIE, on condition of anonymity, that Yediyurappa is yet to get an appointment with the top brass, and is likely to get a call in a day or two. “On Saturday, there is a training programme for BJP MPs at New Delhi. Party leaders will be comparatively free on the weekend, so he may get an appointment,’’ the leader said.
CT Ravi or Limbavali?
With Yediyurappa’s term as state unit president coming to an end in the next few days, the BJP is looking for a candidate for the post. Some names doing the rounds include CT Ravi and Aravind Limbavali. “This time, the party is looking for a young politician to head the BJP unit. Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel’s name is also being considered. These three leaders are about 50 years old, and also have a good rapport with central leaders,’’ a BJP source said. Party leaders are expected to discuss this when Yediyurappa meets them in New Delhi.