BENGALURU: On the day Basavaraj Bommai was elected as the leader of BJP’s legislature party and, in effect the Chief Minister of Karnataka, discussions on who will be his deputies too began. While many permutations and combinations are being worked out, the BJP’s central leadership is said to be considering not having any deputy CMs, though there was speculation that some may be considered for the post. BJP sources suggest that Bommai may end up not having any deputies.
“The intent behind appointing three deputy CMs during BS Yediyurappa’s tenure was to develop alternative leadership. The thinking was that those occupying the positions will rise up in stature to replace Yediyurappa when it was time for him to leave, but that did not happen. This time around, there is no need for such an alternative leadership,” suggested a senior leader of the party with close connections to the RSS. The party is considering the possibility of striking regional, caste and community balance with a full-fledged Cabinet having proportionate representation instead of prioritising two or four castes with DyCM posts.
Yediyurappa was opposed to the idea of having any DyCMs when he took charge in 2019. Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, a Vokkaliga, and Laxman Savadi, a Lingayat, were picked by the party’s top brass to be deputy chief ministers. Yediyurappa is said to have pitched Govind Karjol’s name as the third DyCM after many attempts at pushback when it was decided that deputies will be appointed at any cost.