BENGALURU: The biggest winners in Saturday’s portfolio allocation process were Araga Jnanendra and V Sunil Kumar. Both debutante ministers, core party loyalists and rooted in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, they were given big-ticket portfolios, much to the envy of their Cabinet colleagues.
The portfolio allocation process has attempted to draw a fine balance between ideological insiders and outsiders, party loyalists and BS Yediyurappa backers, seniors and newcomers.
As anticipated, dissent over portfolio allocation became public within a matter of hours.
While ministers like Anand Singh and M T B Nagaraj (left) expressed their disappointment publicly, others like B Sriramulu huffed behind closed doors.
“Previous CM BSY ji and present CM Basavaraj Bommai ji have not kept their word. I am not happy with allotted portfolio. Will take a call in this regard in 2-3 days (sic)” tweeted Nagaraj after he was given the Municipal Corporation, Public Sector Industries and Small Scale Industries portfolios.
Nagaraj, who was among the 17 legislators who quit the Janata Dal Secular-Congress combine to join the BJP in 2019, was Housing Minister in the coalition government.
He was hoping to get the same portfolio this time around, but was left disappointed.
Anand Singh too minced no words when he asked if he was incompetent to handle big ministries.
“What is the reason for not giving me a bigger portfolio? Am I corrupt? Have I indulged in scams? Am I incompetent? Why has this portfolio been given to me?” Anand Singh, who was also among the 17, asked.
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He added that he will meet the chief minister and voice his concerns and suggested that he will resign if he is neglected.
In the selection of ministers as well as allocation of portfolios, the BJP’s central leadership seems to have heeded to Sangh’s inputs.
With allegations of corruption against the previous Cabinet, the party is hoping to start afresh, but more importantly, the Sangh has ensured ministers with close connections with it, like B C Nagesh, Kota Srinivas Poojari, Sunil Kumar and Halappa Achar, get important portfolios.