MYSURU: While the cabinet formation exercise has ostensibly left many seniors and hopefuls fuming, the regional and caste balance in the cabinet has also failed to reflect BJP national president J P Nadda’s mission for Old Mysuru region, which was chalked out during his visit to the state.
The BJP top brass is well aware that it does not have much of a foothold in the Old Mysuru region, which comprises about 100 Assembly constituencies, and had chalked out plans to improve its standing in the Congress and JD(S) stronghold. Yet, the Bommai Cabinet has no representation right from Kolar to Chikkamagaluru in the region. Though the party did not do well in the Assembly polls in the southern districts, it sprang a surprise in the Lok Sabha elections, winning Kolar and Chamarajanagar seats, considered Congress bastions.
The party went the extra mile to woo many from the JDS in Mandya and surrounding regions to widen its base. MLA Narayana Gowda, who defected from the JDS, created history in K R Pet winning on a BJP ticket in the Vokkaliga turf. The party also brought in C P Yogeshwar and got him elected to the Upper House with the aim of building the party in Ramanagara district, the home turf of KPCC chief D K Shiva Kumar and Assembly seat of former CM H D Kumaraswamy.
But there was major disappointment on Wednesday for frontrunners S A Ramdass from Mysuru, Preetham Gowda from Hassan, M P Kumaraswamy from Mudigere, Harshavardhan from Nanjangud, MLC C P Yogeshwara from Ramanagara districts. Gundlupet MLA Nirajan Kumar and Chamaraja MLA
L Nagendra also had their hopes pinned on the party preferring younger faces.
The BJP has been unable to find new Vokkaliga leaders or induct an MLA from the SC-Right community, which has a sizeable population in the Old Mysuru region. The only solace is that BJP MLA Narayana Gowda from K R Pet in Mandya district has been reinducted as minister along with other defectors.
Although the Kuruba community has got three ministerial berths, it may not benefit the party much, as the community has strongly aligned itself with former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has successfully stitched together a coalition of microscopic backward communities, SCs, STs and minorities under the AHINDA banner.
As the party prepares for the Legislative Council from the South Graduates constituency, and the Zilla and Taluk panchayat polls in December, a senior party leader, who did not want to be named, questioned, “How can we boost the morale of the cadres and drum up support for the panchayat polls when we have no local minister?” This could also prompt many to rethink about contesting the panchayat elections, he felt.