Bengaluru: The portfolio allocation undertaken by Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa indicates that the 10 defectors who help him pull down the JD(S)-Congress coalition government back in July have pretty much got the plums they were demanding.
Among them, Ramesh Jarakiholi, a powerful chieftain from Belagavi who played a major role in the toppling of the previous regime, got his choice of portfolio--Major and Minor irrigation--which used to be lorded over by his one-time friend, D.K. Shivakumar of the Congress.
Another defector, Dr K. Sudhakar also got a portfolio Shivakumar held, Medical Education.
Of the others, Somashekhar, Byrathi Basavaraju, B.C. Patil, Anand Singh, K. Gopalaiah and K.C. Narayan Gowda have been able to secure the plums sought.
Only Arabail Shivaram Hebbar and Shrimant Patil have had to make do with relatively low-key jobs.
Here’s who got what:
Ramesh Jarakiholi: Water Resources
Dr K. Sudhakar: Medical Education
Anand Singh: Food and Civil Supplies
Shrimant Patil: Textiles
K. Goapalaiah: Sugar and Small Scale Industries
B.A. Byrathi Basvaraju: Urban Development (not including Bengaluru Affairs and
S.T. Somashekhar: Cooperation
B.C. Patil: Forests
K.C. Narayan Gowda: Municipal Administration
Arabail Shivaram Hebbar: Labour
Having settled this matter, Yediyurappa will next face another uphill task, of distributing district-in-charge ministries and then appointing chairmen to state-run boards and corporations.
There’s history to why Ramesh Jarakiholi so sought the job Shivakumar used to have. Of the three Jarakiholi brothers, it was he who was closest to the Congress strongman but the friendship soured when Shivakumar started promoting the Belagavi Rural MLA, Lakshmi Hebbalkar. It did not go down well with the Jarakiholi family in general and Ramesh Jarakiholi in particular.
Ramesh Jarakiholi was the municipal admin minister in the Kumaraswamy coalition government. But even back then, he was always wanting what Shivakumar was having, which was Water Resources.
The tussle reached a peak when Hebbalkar, with the tacit support of Shivakumar, defeated the nominees of the Jarakiholi family to gain control of the Gokak Co-operative Bank, which the clan had been controlling for over three decades.
This was the trigger that made the entire Jarakiholi family come out in the
open against Hebbalkar, and Ramesh Jarakiholi started venting his ire against
Shivakumar. Since then, he nursed a grudge to replace him in the Water Resources ministry. It was such a compelling grudge that he did not hesitate to pull down the coalition government and leave the Congress party, in which he had started his political career as a student leader.
Prior to toppling the government, Ramesh Jarakiholi categorically asked Yeddiyurappa to promise him the irrigation portfolio, which Yediyurappa fulfilled after dilly-dallying for almost two months.
With Chikkaballapur MLA K. Sudhakar too, there is a Shivakumar back story. He and Shivakumar, both Vokaligas, used to be ardent followers of the former chief minister S M Krishna. Now having sidled up to the BJP, the doctor has managed to ensconce himself in Shivakumar’s Medical Education portfolio, but also spirit away a medical college allotted to Kanakapura to his own constituency.