Bommai & Co in poll mode leaves Vidhana Soudha corridors empty

 As CM, ministers get busy campaigning in Sindagi, Hanagal, governance takes a hit

Published: 26th October 2021 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2021 05:57 PM   |  A+A-

Empty corridors of Vidhana Soudha greet Shankar Rama Warnekar (87) from Gokarna in Uttara Kannada district. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: With just four days left for the bypolls in Sindagi and Hanagal, close to 20 ministers of the Basavaraj Bommai Cabinet, including the Chief Minister himself, are campaigning for BJP candidates in the two constituencies, leaving the corridors of Vidhana Soudha empty. The bypolls are scheduled to be held on October 30 and the entire BJP state leadership is going all out to ensure a win — Bommai’s first electoral test after assuming office. The situation is likely to continue till the end of public campaigning on October 28.

Barring a few ministers like R Ashoka and Kota Srinivas Poojary, 18 to 20 ministers are campaigning in the two constituencies located in North Karnataka. While Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chavan is campaigning for BJP candidate in neighbouring Maharashtra for the Deglur bypoll, a few other ministers, who aren’t part of the BJP’s Hanagal and Sindagi bypoll campaign team, are not in Bengaluru.   With ministers not in the Soudha, sources say the administration has almost come to a standstill. Several people, who visit Vidhana Soudha every day to meet the ministers, are often turned back.

Shankar Rama Warnekar (87) from Gokarna in Uttara Kannada has been coming to Vidhana Soudha for the last four days to meet the Revenue Minister. “But I am yet to meet him and get my work done,” he rued. Speaking to TNIE, Revenue Minister R Ashoka, however, said, “I also campaigned in Hanagal and Sindagi. I used to clear the files there... even my colleagues do the same. Us campainging in no way has hampered administration.”

The BJP has made ministers also in charge of a few panchayats, where they have been camping day and night knocking on the doors of voters and even taking part in the political rallies garnering support for the party candidates — Ramesh Bhusnur (Sindagi) and  Shivaraj Sajjanar (Hanagal). Bommai, who was in Hanagal last week, is campaigning for Bhusanur in Sindagi this week.

Along with him, ministers C C Patil, V Somanna, Byrathi Basavaraj, Shashikala Jolle, Govind Karjol, K S Eshwarappa and others are at Sindagi. Ministers Shivaram Hebbar, S T Somashekar, Munirathna, B C Patil, B Sriramulu, Halappa Achar, Shankar Patil Munenakoppa, Dr K Sudhakar, and Murugesh Nirani are at Hanagal. Some, like Home Minister Araga Jnanendra and Ashoka, are back from campaigning.  Ministers who are not at Hanagal and Sindagi but are outside Bengaluru are Narayana Gowda (Bidar), M T B Nagaraj (Hosakote), Dr C N Ashwath Narayan (Mysuru), Umesh Katti (Belagavi) and B C Nagesh (Shivamogga).

A few ministers, however, expressed their displeasure over campaigning for several days. “There was no need for ministers to campaign for 4-5 days. We also have other work...but we were told to focus on the bypolls,” a minister on condition of anonymity told TNIE.

Who’s where...

Basavaraj Bommai, C C Patil, V Somanna, Byrathi Basavaraj, Shashikala Jolle, Govind Karjol, K S Eshwarappa  

Shivaram Hebbar, S T Somashekar, Munirathna, B C Patil, B Sriramulu, Halappa Achar, Shankar Patil Munenakoppa, Dr K Sudhakar, Murugesh Nirani

Govt work not hit: CM
CM Basavaraj Bommai rubbished the Congress’ charge that Vidhana Soudha has been locked as the entire Cabinet, including the CM, are busy campaigning in Sindagi and Hanagal. “It is far from the truth. Apart from campaigning, ministers are also visiting their offices once every three days. No government work has suffered. I know how the Congress ran the government during bypolls when they were in power,” fumed Bommai.


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