Former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa demonstrated his continuing hold over the state when he saw a dozen of his die-hard loyalists, mostly Lingayats, inducted into chief minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda’s 21 men Cabinet on a day when arch-rival Jagadish Shettar’s hopes of securing the post of deputy chief minister were crushed by central leaders on Monday.
In a rushed swearing-in, Mr Shettar was brought in as an ordinary minister after senior leaders gave the thumbs down to the creation of two power centres. Leaders in New Delhi were also wary of an intervention by the governor after Congress threatened to petition him if the vacuum in government persisted and Cabinet formation was further delayed.
Though Mr Shettar was the first to take oath, signifying his seniority, the Reddy brothers were not among the seven picked by Shettar to join the Cabinet. The Reddy brothers were named in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining was used by Mr Yeddyurappa to thwart their re-entry. The Reddys, misinformed that BSY loyalist V. Somanna was named in the report but was made a minister, walked out of the meeting.
Mr Gowda sidestepped questions on the omission of the Reddys saying the question would be considered during the next Cabinet expansion. All ministers are to hold portfolios allotted to them in the previous government. Mr Gowda will head the ministries of finance, and mines and geology, previously held by BSY.
Mr R. Ashok, who has allied with Mr Shettar, assured reporters they had dropped their demand for a deputy CM and that “there are no differences in the party.” While not a single new face has made it to the Cabinet, all ministers will continue to hold portfolios allotted to them in the previous government. Asian Age