Bengaluru: The expansion of the Union Cabinet on Sunday came as a huge embarrassment to the Karnataka BJP unit, with the wings of two of the three ministers from Karnataka clipped in no uncertain terms.
From the railway ministry being taken from D.V. Sadananda Gowda, to a powerful and senior MP from Maharashtra, Hansraj Ahir being appointed as deputy to Union Fertilizer and Chemical minister Ananth Kumar, and moving G.M. Siddeshwar to minister of state of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises from Civil Aviation, albeit at his behest, the state BJP had no answers when queried on the sudden reshuffle.
Sources indicate that at a 100 day review of the ministers by the premier, Narendra Modi had found Mr Gowda, a former chief minister of the state wanting. Not only were things not moving, he lacked the 'Big Idea' on how to make the key ministry more profitable and more people-friendly, sources said.
Mr Gowda has been moved to the Law and Justice ministry. His critics said, Mr Gowda's sudden escalation of assets in a short period also worked against him.
"Modi's intention was to groom Mr. Gowda as a strong alternative to Ananth Kumar in Karnataka, but Gowda missed a golden opportunity," sources said.
By appointing Hansraj Ahir, a seasoned fourth time MP from Chandrapur constituency of Maharashtra who unearthed the Coalgate scam of UPA government when he was member of parliamentary affairs committee of coal as a strong deputy to Ananth Kumar, minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Prime Minister Modi has also strongly signalled that Kumar's stint as minister will be short and that he will probably be absorbed into the party.
Both Modi and Party President Amit Shah have hinted that Kumar would be more valuable for his organisational skills.
G.M. Siddeshwar's moved from Civil Aviation to minister of state of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, curiously was at the behest of the minister....