BENGALURU/BELAGAVI: In a rather uncharacteristic move, a dozen BJP legislators publicly criticised Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s choice of cabinet ministers. While Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and M P Renukacharya are known for expressing their displeasure publicly, even legislators like Sunil Kumar and SA Ramadas, otherwise silent in public, took to public forums to express disappointment. The harshest attack on Yediyurappa himself came from former Union Minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, MLC H Vishwanath and Bommanahalli MLA Satish Reddy, while Ramadas, Sunil Kumar and Renukacharya termed the selection of ministers “unfair” to loyal party workers.
However, it was State party functionaries who were seething with anger — while they had recommended four names to Yediyurappa, he chose only one. “Yediyurappa went to New Delhi with nine names, while the party had recommended four names — S Angara, Sunil Kumar, Halappa Achar and Appachu Ranjan. He was asked to keep his promise to three aspirants, and induct these four, but inducted only one. It is an insult to loyal workers who are the future of the party,” said a disgruntled senior functionary, who is a member of the national executive team.
While Yatnal called the newly sworn-in ministers “blackmailers” who had made it to the cabinet through unfair means, Dharwad MLA Aravind Bellad termed the inclusion of seven ministers “unacceptable” and said the Chief Minister had ignored young, potential leaders. Vishwanath, too, accused Yediyurappa of yielding to blackmailers.
Karkala MLA Sunil Kumar tweeted: “Loyalty to party, development and Hindutva are my agendas. I do not know other ways. I haven’t learnt glorification of caste politics. I haven’t indulged in blackmail for posts and never will.” MLA from Belagavi Abhay Patil tweeted that there was no place for leaders who were loyal to the party and stuck to the party’s principles.
A staunch BJP loyalist who is known to have a rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Krishnaraja MLA Ramadass reminded the leaders on a public forum, that he has served the party for 28 years.Honnali MLA and Chief Minister’s Political Secretary M P Renukacharya pointed out that the cabinet was dominated by legislators from Bengaluru and Belagavi.
“Injustice has been meted out to Hyderabad-Karnataka, Central and coastal Karnataka regions. The cabinet is limited to Bengaluru and Belagavi. I am upset. Who should I narrate my woes to?” he asked. Bommanahalli MLA M Satish Reddy demanded to know what yardstick was used to select ministers. “The absence of late Union Minister Ananth Kumar, who had an ear for our woes, is very clearly felt,” he said. Many old-timers are mulling taking up the issue with the party Central leadership.
Jarkiholi asks for more
Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who herded 17 MLAs into the BJP to help Yediyurappa form the government, is also upset. “Five more MLAs from my group need to be included into the state cabinet. I hope that those deprived of cabinet berths may be included in the next major reshuffle of the cabinet to be taken up in April,’’ he said.
Terming legislators from his group as “leaders with huge potential”, Jarkiholi said that Yogeshwar played a key role in government formation, and deserved a berth, as does MLA Malikayya Guttedar. Vishwanath could not be included due to some legal hurdles, but he certainly deserved a place, he said.