Hubballi: Exit poll predictions have brought cheer to the BJP camp as they have predicted 12 seats for the party but party leaders feel that it will become challenging task for Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa keep his promise to provide ministerial berths to all the disqualified legislators if the win.
These leaders claim that it is not possible to accommodate all of them as far as Belagavi district is concerned. Therefore, all eyes are on the by-election results of the three constituencies in the district which had seen the genesis of the political crisis that led to the collapse of the previous coalition government.
Belagavi will have a total five ministers if all three disqualified MLAs are inducted into the Cabinet after their victory as Dy CM Laxman Savadi and minister Shashikala Jolle also hail from the district.
Mumbai-Karnataka region has been a stronghold of the BJP and therefore, its leaders are confident that the party will win at least five seats out of the total seven bypoll constituencies in the region. They are also confident that disqualified legislators Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumatalli will retain their seats though there is close fight between the Congress and BJP in Kagwad.
With the rush for ministerial berths likely to spark discontent among senior legislators like Umesh Katti who also hails from Belagavi district, political leaders claim that the party is unlikely to induct Kagwad candidate Srimanth Patil and Athani candidate Mahesh Kumatalli even if they win the by-election. They also feel that only Ramesh Jarkiholi and eight time legislator Umesh Katti will gain entry into the Cabinet. The BJP may placate Patil and Kumatalli by assigning them board and corporation posts.
“Umesh Katti and Ramesh Jarkiholi are senior legislators who have strong influence in Belagavi district. Therefore, the BJP may induct them into the Cabinet as they represent the dominant Lingayat and backward communities.
The party knows very well that other disqualified legislators like Mahesh Kumatalli and Srimanth Patil cannot defect even if they are denied ministerial berths", said political analysts Ashok Chandaragi.
Meanwhile, state BJP president Nalin Kumar Katil has asserted that the BJP will not do any injustice to the disqualified legislators as the party has come to power in the state due to their resignations.
Addressing press persons here on Sunday, he said that the high command will decide about allotment of ministerial berths to them. Expressing confidence that the BJP will win all 15 Assembly constituencies, he said that the party will not undertake Operation Lotus. However, he also said that the party will discuss the induction of more disgruntled legislators from the Congress if they are willing to join the BJP....