BENGALURU: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday reshuffled the ministers in charge of various districts and in a strategic move kept Bengaluru city for himself ahead of the BBMP polls likely to be held after April.
Having declared huge funds annually promising to address the issues related to infrastructure especially roads, streetlamps and public safety, through the installation of CCTVs, Bommai is seemingly trying to take control of the IT capital which consists of as many as 28 assembly constituencies.
In what is regarded as a strategy to curb internal bickering within the party, most of the ministers were not appointed in charge of the respective districts from which they hailed. It is also believed to be a check on some of them from developing a clout of their own on their home turf in case they switch parties ahead of the assembly polls. But a few staunch party loyalists such as Sunil Kumar have been put in charge of their own districts.
Interestingly, the revenue minister R Ashoka and the law and parliamentary affairs minister J C Madhuswamy were ignored, failing to get the responsibility for any district.
Ashoka and housing minister V Somanna, appointed Chamarajanagar district minister, were at loggerheads over the post of minister in charge of Bengaluru district. In the interest of the party organisation, Bommai seemingly decided to overlook Ashoka but not considering him even for other districts has raised eyebrows in political circles.
Similarly, J C Madhuswamy was not on good terms with local leaders in Tumakuru including the LS member G S Basavaraju, which proved costly for him. A video of Basavaraju whispering to urban development minister Byrati Basavaraj that 'if Madhuswamy continued with the district minister post, the BJP will not win even a seat in the district' went viral and reached the party high command as well. Instead, home minister Araga Jnanendra has been appointed in charge of the district.
In both Ashoka and Madhuswamy's case, the party leadership took a call to keep them aside from the responsibilities, according to sources. "Both have connections cutting across the party which will put it on the backfoot," said a source.
New district ministers
K S Eshwarappa- Chikkamagaluru
Umesh V Katti-Vijayapura
Dr C N Ashwat Narayana-Ramanagara
C C Patil-Bagalakote
Kota Srinivas Pujary-Uttara Kannada
Murugesh R Nirani-Kalaburagi
A Shivram Hebbar-Haveri
S T Somashekar-Mysuru
B C Patil-Chitradurga and Gadaga
B A Basavaraja-Davanagere
Dr K Sudhakar-Bengaluru rural
K Gopalaiah-Hassan and Mandya
S Nagaraju(MTB)- Chikkaballapura
K C Narayana Gowda- Shivamogga
B C Nagesh-Kodagu
V Sunil Kumar-Dakshina Kannada
Achar Halappa Basappa-Dharawad
Shankar B Patil Munenakoppa-Raichur and Bidar