BENGALURU/ DHARWAD: There is much speculation about the proposed Union cabinet reshuffle, and who could make it from Karnataka. Names of several MPs are being tossed around, based on caste and power equations.
The names of Haveri-Gadag MP Shivakumar Udasi, Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP Shobha Karandlaje and Mysore-Kodagu MP Prathap Simha, are doing the rounds. Karnataka has two ministers in the Union Cabinet -- DV Sadananda Gowda and Pralhad Joshi -- while technically, Nirmala Sitharaman is a Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka.
BJP circles are abuzz with talk that a Lingayat will be included to replace former minister Suresh Angadi, who passed away recently. There was also talk that there could be an outside chance that a Dalit will be accommodated.
It may be recalled that Angadi, a four-term MP, had served as Union Minister of State for Railways for about 16 months, and passed away due to Covid last September. His wife Mangala Angadi was elected Belagavi MP.
Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda told The New Indian Express that it is the prerogative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and they can only "wait and see". Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi sought to end all speculation by pointing out that no one will know for sure, at this point. He said the Prime Minister will decide and there is no need to speculate unnecessarily.
Shivakumar Udasi, a Lingayat leader from North Karnataka, is among the hopefuls. Udasi's father, Hangal MLA CM Udasi, passed away recently. Shivamogga MP BY Raghavendra may not make it because his father BS Yediyurappa is Chief Minister, and this may work to his disadvantage in finding a spot in the Union cabinet.
Sources said it was entirely speculative because both are Vokkaligas and if they have to be accommodated, one minister has to be first dropped, and that looks unlikely.
With speculation that a Dalit may find place in the cabinet, the names of Chitradurga MP A Narayanswamy and Gulbarga MP Dr Umesh Jadhav, who defeated political giant Mallikarjun Kharge, doing the rounds.