Disgruntlement among BJP MLAs after BS Yediyurappa expands ministry

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Bengaluru: Several senior BJP MLAs have expressed unhappiness after chief minister BS Yediyurappa expanded his 17-month ministry on Wednesday. The legislators made critical remarks about the CM in the presence of central observer, BJP general secretary Arun Singh.

Umesh Katti, Murugesh Nirani, Aravind Limbavali, S Angara, CP Yogeshwara, MTB Nagaraj, and R Shankar took oath as new ministers while excise minister H Nagesh was dropped. Of the new inductees, Nagaraj and Shankar had defected from Congress in 2019 and helped Yediyurappa install a BJP regime.

The 34-member ministry still has a vacancy. Congress defector Munirathna, who won the November bypolls on a BJP ticket by over 58,000 votes, did not make the cut. As Murirathna sulked, the CM promised him a berth in the Cabinet rejig in March.

Former Union minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, a vocal critic of the CM, alleged that three MLAs made it to the ministry through “blackmail and money”. “Ministers are chosen based on CD quota and money quota, unlike earlier, when party workers made it to the Cabinet because of honesty, hard work and on the basis of caste and regional balance.” Some have got in against the wishes of the BJP central leadership, he alleged.

Dharwad MLA Arvind Bellad was critical of the CM for “ignoring the youth and those who worked for the party”, and for giving into “pressure tactics”. He wondered why Yediyurappa inducted three MLCs into the ministry. Bengaluru MLA M Sathish Reddy in a tweet sought to know the yardstick the CM used to select ministers. “Can’t you and our national and state leaders recognise loyal and young workers of the party,” he asked the CM and added they were feeling the absence of Ananthkumar, the late Union minister. Senior MLAs GH Thippa Reddy, SA Ramadass and MP Renukacharya too expressed unhappiness. Many sounded upset that defeated BJP candidate CP Yogeshwar was made a minister.

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