The stamp of former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was very clear in the Sadananda Gowda cabinet which was expanded on Monday.
All his loyalists managed to retain their places while the once powerful Reddy brothers were left out. Gowda retained the entire Cabinet team with no major surprises as it was expected that Reddy brothers — G Janardhan Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy and their close associate B Sriramulu — would be kept out as they are were implicated in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
The protracted negotiations between the two groups in Karnataka BJP, led by Yeddyurappa and Jagadish Shettar, respectively, over the last few days saw each of them haggling for key positions in the Cabinet. The Reddy brothers, who were vacillating between the groups but later extended their support on the side of Shettar, had to be kept out of the Cabinet as per demand made by Yeddyurappa and the desire of the BJP Parliamentary board.
However, another minister in Yeddyurappa’s Cabinet V Somanna whose children’s name figured in the Lokayukta report managed to retain his position. Gowda said that there would not be any change in portfolio of ministers indicating that all the ministers will continue with their respective ministries.
The Karnataka Cabinet with a limit of 34 ministers, including the chief minister, will see the BJP government having the option of filling up 12 more vacancies. Gowda said that the next round of induction of minister would be over in the next one week. This is likely to see the coming in of few MLAs who had rebelled against the leadership of Yeddyurappa.
The BJP government in Karnataka also could not delay the formation of the new Cabinet as they were wary of any move by Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj. The 21 ministers who were inducted on Monday, 12 belonged to the Yeddyurappa camp and rest from the side of Shettar.
Though, people from Shettar camp had placed the demand for the creation of deputy chief minister’s post, this was rejected by BJP’s senior leaders in Delhi. When asked about the creation of deputy CM post, Gowda said, “All my 21 colleagues are number two ministers.”
The dropping of the Reddy brothers and B Sriramulu from the Cabinet is steep fall for the powerful mining barons, who had one time called the shots within the government and had almost brought Yeddyurappa as chief minister.
COURT NOTICE TO YEDDY, KUMARASWAMY
A Lokayukta court has denied bail to former IT Minister in the BJP government, Katta Subramanya Naidu, and sentenced him and his son to judicial custody in a land fraud case. Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and his predecessor HD Kumaraswamy too were summoned by the court in separate cases.
Naidu and his son Katta Jagadish, a corporator, are accused of receiving a kicback of .`87 crore from Itaska Software for allotting 325 acres on the outskirts of Bangalore. The Karnataka Lokayukta, during the tenure of Justice Santosh Hegde, had filed a case following a complaint and even a FIR was lodged against Naidu.
Yeddyurappa and Kumaraswamy were issued fresh summons by the Lokayukta court in separate cases relating to illegal land transactions and grant of mining licence. Economic Times