Bengaluru: Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa may have survived the crucial by-elections to 15 assembly constituencies held last week, but he now has the onerous task of finding a middle ground that will satisfy both the old BJP MLAs and the newcomers to the party, who won the bypolls after deserting the Congress and JD(S) to pave way for the BJP government in July.
Having promised to induct all the disqualified legislators in his cabinet , he is likely to have a hard time during reallocation of portfolios, say party sources, with senior BJP leaders like K.R.-Puram MLA, Byrathi Basavaraj and Yeshwantapura MLA, S.T. Somashekar also upping the ante on plum cabinet berths, particularly Bengaluru Development.
Mr Yediyurappa, who is expected to leave for Delhi in a day or two with the list of newly elected MLAs, has also decided to induct Mr M.T.B. Nagaraj and Mr A H.Vishwanath into the Cabinet despite their defeat from Hoskote and Hunasuru constituencies respectively in the byelections, according to sources. He is believed to be especially firm on inducting Mr Nagaraj as he had helped the BJP during its Operation Lotus.
Speaking to reporters during the day, he said would meet PM Narendra Modi and BJP national president, Amit Shah in a day or two and expand his ministry based on their directions. “As promised, I will accommodate all the newly elected MLAs in the cabinet. I will take a call on the defeated MLAs after discussing the matter with the party’s national leadership,” he added.
According to sources, a few core committee leaders have suggested that the defeated MLAs could be given suitable positions in the party organisation, but Mr. Yediyurappa is keen on inducting them all into the cabinet.
The Chief Minister had a taste of things to come on Tuesday as soon after he promised to expand his cabinet in a day or two, BJP MLAs, Umesh Katti, and S.A.Ramadas, who had missed berths in the first round of expansion, rushed to his house, demanding they be inducted this time. Supporters of Chitradurga MLA, Tippareddy too demanded that the Chief Minister give him an opportunity during the coming cabinet expansion.
While the newly elected MLAs began their clamour for plum portfolios like Bengaluru Development, which the Chief Minister currently holds, with both K.R..Puram MLA, Byrathi Basavaraj and Yeshwantapura MLA, S.T. Somashekar reportedly pitching to handle the Bengaluru Development portfolio, senior minister, R. Ashok too has set his sights on the same berth....