KARNATAKA CM EXPANDS CABINET, OVER A DOZEN PARTY MLAS SLAM YEDIYURAPPA - The Daily Guardian
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KARNATAKA CM EXPANDS CABINET, OVER A DOZEN PARTY MLAS SLAM YEDIYURAPPA

This was the third expansion of the cabinet since Yediyurappa assumed charge in July 2019 after the collapse of the Congress-JDS govt.

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Seven new ministers took oath in Karnataka on Wednesday, as Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa expanded his 17-month-old cabinet. Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a ceremony held at the Glass House of Raj Bhavan.

The new ministers who were sworn-in are MLAs Umesh Katti (Hukkeri), S. Angara (Sullia), Murugesh Nirani (Bilgi) and Arvind Limbavali (Mahadevapura), and MLCs R. Shankar, M.T.B. Nagaraj and C.P. Yogeshwar.

Yediyurappa, his cabinet colleagues, BJP leaders and office bearers including general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh, state unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel, senior officials of the state government, family members and supporters of new ministers, among others were present at the event.

This was the third expansion of the cabinet since Yediyurappa assumed charge in July 2019 after the collapse of the Congress-JDS government in the wake of revolt by 17 MLAs of the coalition partners. It’s a mix of old guard and new entrants from Congress and JDS who are making into the cabinet.

Keeping up the promise, Congress-JD(S) rebels-turned-BJP MLCs R. Shankar and M.T.B. Nagaraj, who helped the saffron party come to power, were inducted by Yediyurappa. Both of them had served as ministers in the coalition government.

Another MLC Yogeshwar, who is said to have played a key role by managing Congress-JD(S) rebel MLAs, during the political turmoil in the state in 2019, was also inducted into the ministry. He too was a minister in the previous BJP government.

Among the BJP old guards making it to the cabinet include Katti, Angara, Nirani and Limbavali. While Katti (eight time MLA), Nirani and Limbavali (state BJP vice president) have been ministers in the previous BJP government, for Angara (six times MLA) this will be his first stint as the minister.

While announcing that seven new minister’s induction, Yediyurappa has indicated that Excise Minister H. Nagesh will be dropped from the ministry, thereby keeping one berth vacant in the state cabinet, which can have a maximum strength of 34 members.

Meanwhile, over a dozen BJP leaders including senior leader H. Vishwanath and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal have lashed out at Yediyurappa for overlooking them in the state cabinet expansion and considering only those who “blackmailed” him.

Attacking the CM during a media address in Vijayapura, Basanagouda R. Patil (Yatnal) said, “Yediyurappa only considered and made them minister who blackmailed him with a CD and paid huge money to him. Two are been made ministers today and one person has been made political secretary after all 3 blackmailed over a CD.” Leaders other than Basanagouda held press meets in their respective cities to register their protest. H Vishwanath expressed his displeasure in Mysuru.

Other dissenting leaders include MP Kumaraswamy from Mudigere, Satish Reddy from Bommanahalli, Shivanagowda Nayak from Devadurga, BJP MLA Thippareddy from Chitradurga, and Yediyurappa’s close aid MP Renukacharya MLA from Honnali.

Other leaders include MLA Sunil Kumar from Karkala, Rajugowda from Surapura and Mahesh Kumathalli from Athani, and Muniratna from Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency are openly attacking Yeddyurappa over cabinet expansion berth.

Basanagouda further attacked the party leadership, saying that “Loyalty, caste, seniority, region wasn’t considered, the only quality which was considered was CD and blackmail. Yediyurappa completely ignored party loyal workers like us, who blackmailed him, made CD and who planned to bring down his government has got cabinet birth and made ministers today.”

He alleged that Yediyurappa brought CP Yogeshwar into the cabinet “who cheated” several people in Megacity land mafia, real estate scam and dropped single Dalit MLA Nagesh from the cabinet without any reason. “This doesn’t suit Yediyurappa who’s known for keeping his words,” Basanagouda said.

With agency inputs

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