Bengaluru: The BJP is anticipating fresh trouble in the ruling Congress after the second round of Cabinet expansion on Saturday as its disgruntled leaders like B.C. Patil, Anand Singh, B. Nagendra and Shivaram Hebbar have found no place in the ministry yet again.
The saffron party had approached all four MLAs six months ago in the hope of persuading them to switch loyalty. A giveaway was an audio recording of BJP leaders allegedly negotiating with Mr Patil and Mr Hebbar that found its way to the media. The fact that their desire to join the Cabinet has not been met yet again has given state BJP chief, B.S.Yeddyurappa fresh hope of toppling the government and become Chief Minister himself, according to party sources.
The BJP is believed to be trying to also persuade Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi to join it as he has been dropped from the Cabinet. “It is confident that if it convinces Ramesh Jarkiholi to desert the Congress, other disgruntled MLAs will follow,” say party sources.
But this may be easier said than done as Mr Ramesh is said to be on good terms with his older brother, Satish, who has replaced him in the Cabinet.
Taking no chances, however, the Congress has taken care to pacify its MLAs by appointing them as chairmen of various boards and corporations. Identifying the MLAs, who are most vulnerable to the BJP’s “Operation Lotus,” the party has offered them plum board and corporation posts and appointed a few as parliamentary secretaries.
Its bold move to expand the Cabinet has reportedly surprised the BJP, which felt it would not risk angering or disappointing its MLAs given the possible repercussions ahead of the coming Lok Sabha elections....