BANGALORE: Karnataka is a glaring example of how the BJP national leadership is pushing its first ever government in the south to the brink, by stalling Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda from expanding his floundering Cabinet which has one third vacancies.
As a result, the state government which should have been otherwise working on a war footing to tackle the prevailing drought, is finding itself in a deep slumber. There are no takers for poor Gowda’s pleas. Thanks to the party high command’s inability to solve the long-pending issue of leadership in the state.
Former chief minister and Lingayat strongman B S Yeddyurappa who is trying hard to get back to the CM’s chair, has been stalling the Cabinet expansion ever since the Karnataka High Court quashed the FIR registered against him by the Lokayukta in connection with the illegal mining.
Yeddyurappa thinks that Gowda would become stronger both in the government and the party if allowed to fill the cabinet by his men and his demand for reinstatement would get diluted. “Till the time you decide on the leadership issue, I will not allow cabinet expansion,’’ Yeddyurappa is said to have warned the party high command.
Bowing down to his demand, the party high-command has decided to wait till the Supreme Court decides on Yeddyurappa’s future in the view of central empowered committee (CEC) recommending a CBI probe against the former CM on his involvement in the illegal mining. The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its judgement on CEC recommendation on April 30.
The party high command is also not in a position to neglect Yeddyurappa’s warning as he enjoys the support of majority MLAs, MPs and party functionaries even now.
In the meantime, a group of MLAs led by Chikmagalur MLA, C T Ravi have started a signature campaign to exert pressure on the party high command to allow cabinet expansion. Though these MLAs, claiming to have independent thinking, political pundits are seeing it as a ploy hatched by the chief minister and state BJP president K S Eshwarappa.
“Our campaign is not against anybody. We are doing it in the interests of the party. Some people have given a wrong impression,’’ said Ravi.
The nine-month- old Gowda cabinet has 11 vacancies and there is no representation for 15 districts. These like-minded MLAs have also been demanding a re-allocation of portfolios, a move to snatch plum departments which are now being held by Yeddyurappa supporters.