Dissent brews within Karnataka govt: What led to CM Yediyurappa’s isolation
The shuffling of his Cabinet to allocate portfolios to newly inducted ministers triggered a backlash against Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, 77, on Thursday from both the old guard and the new entrants. Here is what we know about Yediyurappa’s seeming isolation and what has led to it:
• At the core of the chaos are members of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S) whom Yediyurappa convinced to resign.
• The resignations brought down the previous JD (S)-Congress alliance government.In all, 17 members resigned from the legislature.
• In the subsequent by-election, 14 of them contested; 11 won and sought their promised rewards, ministerial berths.
• At least three ministers—N Nagaraju, K Gopalaiah, and K C Narayana Gowda—of the seven inducted into his Cabinet on January 13 met at health minister K Sudhakar’s residence and later called on Yediyurappa to express their anger at the distribution of portfolios.
• Nagaraju said there was not much he can do in the excise department and had asked for a portfolio that is more development-oriented.
• Gopalaiah, who was stripped of the food, civil supplies, and consumer affairs ministry, sought to know what he had done to deserve such treatment.
• Yediyurappa and his ministerial colleagues, R Ashok and Basavaraj Bommai, among others, swung into damage control mode. The chief minister insisted there is no difference of opinion among the new ministers.
• Many of the ministers unhappy with the changes did not attend a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
• Sudhakar, who fought hard to get the medical education department from B Sriramulu at the peak of the pandemic, and succeeded, was stripped of the portfolio in the reshuffle.
• With no backing from the central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Yediyurappa now finds himself confronting a burst of dissidence that has the potential to end another term of the Lingayat leader in the chief minister’s office ahead of the end of his tenure.
• Even J C Madhuswamy, a key member of Yediyurappa’s inner circle, expressed his unhappiness at being divested of the minor irrigation, law, and parliamentary affairs portfolios.
• The lack of action against Basanagouda Patil for rebellion against the chief minister was an indication of Yediyurappa’s souring relations with the central leadership of the BJP, analysts said.
• Analysts said the central leadership of the BJP seems to have left it to Yediyurappa to deal with the problem.
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