A group of the 17 newly-elected MPs from Karnataka led by Joshi met the BJP’s prime minister designate in New Delhi on Sunday. Former CM B S Yeddyurappa and senior BJP leader H N Ananth Kumar were among those who met the BJP’s top leader.
The Karnataka state president Prahlad Joshi said the state unit of the BJP had recommended the names of former CM B S Yeddyurappa, senior leader H N Ananth Kumar, former CM D V Sadananda Gowda and multiple term scheduled caste MP from Bijapur in north Karnataka Ramesh Jigajinagi.
Joshi, a three-term MP, claimed that he was not an aspirant to the Modi ministry although his name has been in circulation with that of a dozen aspirants from the state, including 10 Lok Sabha MPs and two Rajya Sabha MPs. The state president of the BJP said that the Karnataka unit is keen on representation for four MPs from the state in the union cabinet of the new BJP government.
On the question of inclusion of Yeddyurappa, who is currently being prosecuted by the CBI in connection with his role in the Rs 40 crore mining related bribery scam, the BJP state president said that it was his personal view that Yeddyurappa should be in the cabinet.
Joshi said in his view the corruption charges against Yeddyurappa were not direct enough to warrant his exclusion from the Union ministry.
Although the state unit of the BJP has recommended four candidates to be ministers at least two others who are members of the Rajya Sabha are known to be lobbying for Karnataka quota positions in the cabinet including Venkaiah Naidu and Prabhakar Kore.
“The ultimate decision on the ministers from Karnataka will be taken on the criteria of maintaining regional balance, caste equations and experience,’’ BJP sources in Karnataka said.