Discontent erupts in Karnataka BJP over new ministers; Renukacharya, AH Vishwanath hit out at CM 

coastaldigest.com news network
January 13, 2021

Bengaluru, Jan 13: Minutes after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced the list of seven new ministers, dissatisfaction erupted in the Karnataka BJP with many MLAs questioning the parameters for selection of ministers in the state Cabinet.

The addition of three MLCs - MTB Nagaraj, CP Yogeeshwar and R Shankar -  also irked the MLAs seeking Cabinet berths. Apart from the three, DyCM Laxman Savadi and Muzrai minister Kota Srinivas Poojary are also MLCs, taking the tally of ministers from the Legislative Council to five.

Bommanahalli MLA M Satish Reddy, in a tweet, rued that young workers of the party were being ignored. What are the parameters for selection of ministers during Cabinet expansion, Reddy asked Yediyurappa. 

"What are the reasons for you, state and national leadership to not consider loyal young karyakartas of the party (for the Cabinet)? The absence of late Union Minister Ananthkumar - who had an ear for our woes - is very clear," he said.

CM’s political secretary MP Renukacharya, who was vying for a Cabinet berth, alleged that only those who lobbied for posts were inducted. "This is just a Bengaluru-Belagavi Cabinet," he said, referring to the large number of ministers hailing from the two districts. Injustice has been meted out to the Central Karnataka region, he added.

MLC AH Vishwanath, who was among the MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) coalition to resign in 2019 over assurance of being made ministers, lashed out at the CM for not keeping his word. Yediyurappa succumbed to pressure from Yogeeshwar, Vishwanath said, citing that as the reason for the CM to drop him from the list of ministers.

Earlier in the day, MLAs GH Thippareddy and Nehru Olekar had also expressed displeasure over Cabinet expansion.

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News Network
January 19,2021

Bengaluru, Jan 19: The resentment over the expansion of the B S Yediyurappa Ministry in Karnataka refused to die down with a couple of ruling BJP MLAs on Tuesday demanding that the cabinet be reconstituted to make way for new faces. 

Six-time MLA from Chitradurga G H Thippareddy and Shivanagouda Naik, representing Devadurga constituency, pitched for a new look to the cabinet. They made the demand even as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is yet to allocate portfolios to seven Ministers who were inducted on January 13.

 The much-awaited expansion had led to resentment with several BJP MLAs expressing reservations over MLCs not elected by people being made Ministers, lack of representation to many regions and seniority not being considered. 

Yediyurappa had earlier asked sulking BJP leaders to take up the matter with the national leadership and urged them to refrain from making any remarks affecting the party. 

"Three times when our party came to power, the same people have become Ministers. Looking at the performance of some people (Ministers) and the way they have handled the portfolios, let cabinet be reconstituted and new people are given a chance," Thippareddy told reporters here on Tuesday. 

Giving a chance to new people, who through their work will bring a good name to the party and the government, the BJP leadership's target of winning 150 seats in the next assembly elections could be achieved, he said. 

Naik claimed several MLAs from across the state were of the view that all current ministers should be dropped and they be used for party work so that it comes back to power in 2023 elections. Representation should be given to all the districts and considering the MLAs’ loyalty to the party and seniority, he added. 

Meanwhile Chief Minister's political secretary M P Renukacharya, MLA, who is upset about missing a ministerial berth, is in Delhi for the second time to meet the party central leadership. He had last week met BJP General Secretary in-charge of the state Arun Singh in the national capital. Speaking to reporters, Renukacharya said he had come to Delhi on a call from a central leader, but did not reveal whom he met and what was discussed. 

"I don't want to reveal any thing, it's my duty to maintain secrecy. I have held discussions, but have not come here to complain about someone...." he added. Ending a long wait, Yediyurappa had expanded his 17- month old cabinet on January 13, inducting seven ministers and dropped Excise Minister H Nagesh from the ministry. 

Amid talks of reallocation of departments, how Yediyurappa manages the exercise would be keenly watched as several Ministers, including the new inductees, are looking for plum portfolios. While a few Ministers have two portfolios, as many as 11 departments, including Bengaluru Development and Energy, are with the chief minister in addition to Finance.

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News Network
January 11,2021

Bengaluru, Jan 11: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday said the much-awaited expansion or reshuffle of his cabinet will take place on January 13 or 14, and BJP National President J P Nadda will be invited for the swearing-in.

Though the Chief Minister indicated that seven new faces will be inducted, he did not make it clear whether it will be cabinet expansion or reshuffle.

"On January 13 or 14 according to convenience of our national President J P Nadda and Karnataka in-charge (general secretary Arun Singh), by inviting them, swearing in ceremony will be organised," Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters here after paying tributes to former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his death anniversary, he said, about seven members will be inducted.

Asked whether it will be cabinet expansion or reshuffle, he said, "let's see, you will get to know."

Yediyurappa on Sunday had held discussions with Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi about the cabinet exercise.

On returning from New Delhi late on Sunday, the Chief Minister had said that seven members will be inducted on January 13 afternoon, and that he will finalise the names on Monday after discussions.

Yediyurappa has been waiting for some time now to carry out the cabinet exercise, as he was asked by the BJP president during their meeting in New Delhi on November 18, to wait for the clearance from the central leadership.

The cabinet expansion or reshuffle is expected to be a tightrope walk for the Chief Minister, considering that there are too many aspirants, from the party old guard to Congress- JD(S) rebels who are now BJP legislators.

While several of the old guards like Umesh Katti (eight-time MLA) and Arvind Limbavali are waiting for a chance to be inducted into the Ministry, Congress-JD(S) rebels like Munirathna, R Shankar and M T B Nagaraj, who helped the BJP come to power and are now party legislators, are also aspiring for slots.

While Munirathna is now BJP MLA from RR Nagar, Shankar and Nagaraj are MLCs.

Yediyurappa had recently also indicated that MLC C P 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, that eventually led to BJP to come to power, will be inducted into the Ministry.

The cabinet currently has 27 members, and seven berths are still vacant. 

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News Network
January 11,2021

Mangaluru, Jan 11: Amid fears of bird flu spread in neighbouring Kerala, seven crows were found dead at different places in Mangaluru on Monday.

Three crows were found on the road near Pacchanady dumping yard, two near Shaktinagar housing colony and two more near the Kuppepadavu school road, sources in the state health department said. Health officials have visited the spots and collected samples.

It may be recalled that six crows were found dead in Manjanady near here recently and samples collected from them had tested negative for bird flu.

Health Minister K. Sudhakar had stated a couple of days back that there were no cases of bird flu in Karnataka and all the samples tested so far have returned negative.

He had also directed the health officials in the border districts to be vigilant in the wake of an avian flu outbreak in other states, including Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Four districts in southern Karnataka bordering Kerala have been put on alert following the outbreak of bird flu (H5N8) in the neigbouring state.

"We have put four districts bordering Kerala -- Chamarajanagar, Dakshin Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru -- on alert and taken steps to prevent bird flu spread from the adjacent state though no case of the disease has been reported in Karnataka so far," a state animal husbandry department official had told IANS on January 7.

The animal husbandry department has also set up kiosks at border check-posts to monitor vehicles from Kerala to ensure chicken and eggs are not allowed to enter the districts without certification.

The Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairies on Monday said that avian influenza has been confirmed in 10 states of the country till date. The 10 states are -- Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Avian influenza or bird flu is a contagious viral disease caused by influenza type A viruses, which affect poultry birds like chickens and turkeys.

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