Bengaluru: It was clearly not a pleasant surprise for Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa to see three of his loyalists bite the dust when he received the approved list of Cabinet ministers Monday night from the BJP high command. Going by sources, BJP national organising secretary, B.L. Santhosh had a greater say in the selection process and nixed the chances of the Yediyurappa loyalists.
Sources close to the Chief Minister say he was tense as he received the list as late as 11 pm, and found that his supporters, Umesh Katti, Haladi Srinivasa Shetty and Halappa did not figure in it, although they were recommended to the party's national leaders. Also missing from the list were senior MLAs, S.A. Ramadas and S. Angara, who too had been suggested as probables for a Cabinet berth by the state unit of the party.
Mr Ramadas was reportedly all prepared to take oath, but his name was omitted at the last moment and his place taken by senior MLA, Suresh Kumar. And despite Mr. Yediyurappa's reluctance to have Mr C. T Ravi on his team, he too found a place in it considering his loyalty to Mr Santhosh.
As for Mr Umesh Katti, sources reveal Mr Santhosh was reluctant to induct him into the Cabinet and this may have led to his omission. The national organising secretary was also reportedly not keen on giving Mr Haladi Srinivasa Shetty a Cabinet berth as his influence is restricted to Kundapura Assembly constituency and he has made no contribution to the party organisation in Udupi and neighbouring districts.
Instead of Mr. Shetty, the party chose to induct Mr Kota Srinivasa Poojari into the Cabinet as he belongs to the dominant Billava community in the coastal districts and considering his contribution to the party organisation, say sources.
In inducting Mr Laxman Savadi into the Cabinet, the party is hoping to up its chances in the Athani and Kagwad Assembly byelections which are due in six months, they add. It has also reportedly rewarded him for his role in destabilising the Kumaraswamy government, and intends to use him to take the party in Belagavi district out of the clutches of some influential political families. It's no secret that Mr. Katti and the Jarkiholi brothers are at loggerheads with him and had worked to defeat him in the 2018 Assembly elections.
Mr Ashwathnarayana is also being rewarded for his role in Operation Lotus, reveal sources. Mr. Suresh Kumar, however, made it to the Cabinet in the Brahmin quota and was informed late Monday night by the Chief Minister about his inclusion.
Senior leaders, Jagadish Shettar, R. Ashok, K.S. Eshwarappa, Govinda Karjol, and B.Sreermalu were inducted into the Cabinet based on their individual merit and contributions, according to sources....